‘She had a motive’: Cuomo attorney argues conflict of interest in AG’s sexual harassment report

Cuomo Crisis

NEW YORK — The attorney for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday they have submitted an application to alter the sexual harassment report about him released by Attorney General Letitia James.

Rita Glavin, the attorney for the former governor, said the 150-page submission contained errors and inaccuracies regarding facts and evidence.

Glavin also argued that there was a conflict of interest with James involved in the investigation due to political goals, including the possibility of running against Cuomo for the 2022 gubernatorial election.

“She had a motive,” Glavin said.

She also argued New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli was also contemplating a run for governor and could not be objective because of his own ambitions.

“That referral had politics written all over it,” Glavin said.

Cuomo had made it known he was running for a fourth term in March 2021, and at the same time, James would not disavow any intention of a run for governor. Given the conflict, Cuomo
insisted that the investigation had to be entirely independent of the attorney general and
conducted by a law firm with no bias or predisposition.

However, Glavin argued recent comments made by the attorney general indicated she violated those terms, admitting in September that she was personally involved in the investigation and made her own credibility determinations of the witnesses.

Due to the conflict of interest, Cuomo’s legal team argued the report must be amended to reflect precisely what involvement James and her office played in the investigation, the extent to which they expressed their opinions to the Investigators, including, but not limited to opining on investigative steps and the extent to which Investigators were under any pressure from them regarding the timing of the report. 

Cuomo’s attorney said James cannot be the person to consider the application, but rather, have a “truly independent reviewer” look into it.

“The August 3rd report is materially misleading, it is flawed, and it is unreliable,” according to Glavin. “It misled the public.”

A spokesperson for the former governor said the report was “designed to do nothing more than inflict maximum political damage” to Cuomo.

“With this submission it is clear that the AG’s report was designed to do nothing more than inflict maximum political damage to Governor Cuomo for the benefit of the Attorney General and her political future. The AG claims that politics stop at her door, but any objective reading of this report and Ms. Glavin’s submission will conclude that the truth and due process were thrown out the window. In a stump speech three weeks ago the Attorney General announced she was breaking her silence, yet she and her office have refused to answer any specific questions, instead hiding behind platitudes.  It’s time for AG James to answer for the inexplicable inconsistencies, errors, omissions and distortions throughout her report: New Yorkers deserve to know the truth,” the spokesperson said.

Cuomo announced his resignation in August after investigation from the attorney general’s office determined he sexually harassed 11 women — in and out of state government. 

He was initially defiant following the report, but  later announced he would step down so that the government could focus on COVID-19 pandemic recovery without the distraction of a lengthy impeachment trial.

The resignation went into effect Aug. 24, at which point then- Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul took over as governor for the remainder of Cuomo’s term.

When asked if Cuomo was considering a run for governor next year, Glavin said: “I don’t have an answer for that.”

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