James seeking independent law firms to investigate Cuomo allegations

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR) — A third woman has come forward accusing Gov. Andrew Cuomo of harassment. This latest accusation comes as New York State Attorney General Letitia James is working to pick a law firm to conduct an independent investigation into the governor’s alleged conduct.

In a legal sense, the Attorney General now has fairly broad authority to deputize an attorney to look into these allegations, including the one made late Tuesday, on behalf of her office. James was sent a letter Monday from special counsel to Cuomo, Beth Garvey. It’s an official referral letter. It stipulates that when the investigation is over, the findings will be published.

The Office of the Governor has not responded to the third allegation against him. But on Sunday, after the first two allegations were made, his office released a statement saying he understands some of his comments may have made people feel ways he never intended. He apologized saying that some things he said have been interpreted as unwanted flirtation.

One of the women accusing him of sexual harassment, Charlotte Bennett, released her own statement shooting down Cuomo’s apology. “The Governor has refused to acknowledge or take responsibility for his predatory behavior.  As we know, abusers—particularly those with tremendous amounts of power—are often repeat offenders who engage in manipulative tactics to diminish allegations, blame victims, deny wrongdoing and escape consequences,” she said.

The question waking up here in Albany on Tuesday. Will we hear from Governor Cuomo? While several statements from his office have been sent in recent days, he has not taken questions from the media since last Monday.

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