Updated: March 17, 2021 11:06 PM
Created: March 17, 2021 09:35 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A new report from the Albany Times Union says Gov. Andrew Cuomo is running his own "parallel" investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct allegations against him.
The newspaper quoted senior aides to the governor, who say they were actually directed to conduct their own inquiries into the multiple claims, by the Attorney General's Office.
Officials with the Attorney General's Office have so far not responded to those statements, but the Times Union says a source in the office with knowledge of the matter denied that anyone from the Attorney General's team had directed the Governor's Office to conduct a separate review.
Attorney Debra Katz, who is representing Charlotte Bennet, one of the seven women who has accused Cuomo, issued a statement shortly after the report was released, saying:
“Running a ‘parallel review’ to identify potential witnesses and providing attorneys to coach and supervise witnesses who testify before the independent investigators is absolutely wrong,” said Katz. “At best, these actions will have a chilling effect on potential witnesses or accusers who want to come forward without fear of retaliation. At worst, this is a deliberate attempt by the Governor’s office to interfere with the Attorney General’s investigation. The law signed by Gov. Cuomo is clear: allegations of sexual harassment should be investigated by the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, not the Executive Chamber. The Governor’s office already failed to meet its legal obligations when it swept Charlotte Bennett’s sexual harassment under the rug in 2020. They must stand down and let the Attorney General’s independent investigators do their jobs without any interference.”
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