Executive authorizes Attorney General to investigate Cuomo

New York News

New York State Attorney General Letitia James addresses the media at Aenon Missionary Baptist Church in Rochester, N.Y., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. A grand jury voted not to charge officers shown on body camera video holding Daniel Prude down naked and handcuffed on a city street last winter until he stopped breathing. New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the decision Tuesday. The 41-year-old Black man’s death last March sparked nightly protests in Rochester, New York, after the video was released nearly six months later. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

NEW YORK (NEWS10) — New York Attorney General Letitia James has received a referral letter to investigate allegations of sexual harassment against Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Her office released the following statement on Monday afternoon after the executive chamber issued the formal referral granting her request:

“Today, the executive chamber transmitted a referral letter to our office, providing us the authority to move forward with an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment claims made against Governor Cuomo. This is not a responsibility we take lightly as allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously. As the letter states, at the close of the review, the findings will be disclosed in a public report.”

Letitia James
New York Attorney General

On Sunday, James announced that she would appoint a special deputy to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations. Her office tangled with the Office of the Governor after Cuomo suggested a federal judge with ties to his administration to lead the investigation.

Below is the text of the letter from Cuomo’s Special Counsel, Beth Garvey:

Dear Attorney General James,

The Governor is hereby making a referral pursuant to Executive Law Section §63 (8) for you to select an independent law firm to conduct an inquiry into allegations of and circumstances surrounding sexual harassment claims made against the Governor.

As provided in Executive Law §63 (8), that private attorney or private attorneys, may be designated as Special Deputy Attorney General or Assistant Deputy Attorney General, to conduct the review.

Nothing in this letter is intended to constrain or limit any of the powers inherent in Executive Law §63 (8). Due to the nature of this review, however, the weekly reports contemplated by Executive Law §63 (8) will not be approved by or transmitted to the Executive. At the close of the review, the findings will be disclosed in a public report.

All New York State employees have been directed to cooperate fully with this review. I will serve as point of contact for any witness interviews or document production for the Executive Chamber and will connect you with appropriate counsel in any other agency or entity for any documents or witnesses necessary for the review.


Beth Garvey
Special Counsel and Senior Advisor

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