Crisis deepens for Cuomo; AG wants to lead harassment probe
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Attorney General Letitia James has rejected a plan announced by an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to team up with the state’s chief judge in choosing an independent lawyer to investigate claims of sexual harassment against the embattled governor.
Cuomo’s special counsel said his administration asked James and Janet DiFiore, chief judge of the Court of Appeals, to jointly select an independent lawyer to review the claims of sexual harassment, but James rejected the proposal and said the job should be hers alone.
Cuomo said late Sunday that he would cooperate with the sexual harassment investigation led James.
He also acknowledged for the first time that some of his behavior with women had been “misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation.”
In a statement released amid mounting criticism from within his own party, the Democrat maintained that he had never inappropriately touched or propositioned anyone, but he said he had teased people and made jokes about their personal lives in an attempt to be “playful.”
He said he now understands that some of his interactions had been “insensitive or too personal.”
The calls for an investigation into Cuomo’s workplace behavior intensified after a second former employee of his administration went public Saturday with claims she had been harassed by the governor.