An attorney representing a victim accusing New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment said Cuomo is interfering with the investigation, Fox News reported Monday.
Debra Katz represents a 25-year old former aide to Cuomo, Charlotte Bennett, who accused the governor of sexual harassment in early March. In a letter to New York Attorney General Letitia James, Katz argued that Cuomo’s office was too involved in the sexual harassment probe against him, according to Fox News.
The letter followed an Albany Times Union report from March 17. According to the report, the governor’s office offered attorneys to staffers if they were interviewed by the attorney general’s investigators.
Despite the state attorney general’s investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, senior aides to the governor said they are also conducting their own “parallel review.” https://t.co/xsmK0hjh4X
— Times Union (@timesunion) March 17, 2021
“It was also explicitly said that you can hire your own attorney if you don’t want to use the attorneys retained by the governor’s office,” a Cuomo senior administrative official told the Albany Times Union.
Katz wrote in her letter that having attorneys from Cuomo’s office speak to employees could create a “chilling effect on potential witnesses or other accusers who wish to come forward but fear job-related retaliation.” (RELATED: Current Cuomo Aide Becomes 8th Women To Accuse NY Gov. Of Sexual Misconduct)
“This is highly improper, and we object in the strongest possible terms to this obvious interference with what you have stated would be a ‘thorough and independent investigation,” she stated.
Cuomo has been accused of kissing women without their consent and making inappropriate sexual comments. Last week, an eighth woman accused the governor of sexual misconduct, but he has repeatedly denied all allegations.