New York Attorney General Letitia James Monday set two lead attorneys to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct against Governor Andrew Cuomo,
They are Joon Kim, former acting U.S Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and employment discrimination attorney Anne Clark.
“We are committed to an independent and thorough investigation of the facts,” said James said, calling Kim and Clark “independent, legal experts who have decades of experience conducting investigations and fighting to uphold the rule of law. There is no question that they both have the knowledge and background necessary to lead this investigation and provide New Yorkers with the answers they deserve.”
Five women including former aides have come out over the last several weeks with allegations against the governor, sparking calls for his resignation including over the weekend by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat.
Cuomo said at several press briefings, most recently Sunday, that he has no intention of stepping down.
“I’m not going to resign because of allegations,” Cuomo said. “The premise of resigning because of allegations is actually anti-democratic. We’ve always done the exact opposite: The system is based on due process and the credibility of the allegations.”
“There is no way I resign,” he said.
On Monday, the governor toured the Javits Center in NYC that has been turned into a 24-hour mega vaccination site. He made remarks but took no questions.
On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal published claims by Ana Liss, who worked in the governor’s office from 2013 to 2015. She said he called her “sweetheart,” kissed her hand once and asked if she had a boyfriend. The same day, the Washington Post recounted allegations by Karen Hinton, who worked for Cuomo when he was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under former President Bill Clinton. She describe Cuomo calling her to his hotel room in 2000 and attempting to embrace her.
Two other former, Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett, have accused the governor of inappropriate behavior. Another woman, Anna Ruch, who never worked for him described Cuomo forcibly holding her face and kissing her at a wedding reception.
The governor has apologized for any “pain” he has caused but insisted he had no idea he was making the women uncomfortable and denied some of the allegations specifically, most recently Hinton’s. He called her a “longtime adversary.”
“The truth also matters. What she said is not true,” he said,
Cuomo is also facing extensive criticism for his administration’s decision to withhold the number of nursing home residents who died of COVID-19 in hospitals, instead choosing to release only those who died in the homes themselves. The AG is also investigating that.
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