Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office is using “inside attorneys” to meddle in the independent investigation into the mounting allegations of sexual misconduct against him, a lawyer for one of his accusers alleged Monday.
Cuomo’s former assistant’s attorney, Charlotte Bennett, cited a recent report “that the Executive Chamber is providing employees with in-house attorneys to meet with prior to their investigative interviews … and to attend those interviews with them.” .
“It is my understanding that these attorneys are also ‘questioning’ staff after their interviews with investigators,” wrote attorney Debra Katz in a letter to Attorney General Letitia James.
“This is highly inappropriate and we object in the strongest terms possible to this obvious interference with what you have stated would be a ‘comprehensive and independent’ investigation.”
The investigation, launched earlier this month, is being conducted by outside attorneys led by former acting Manhattan federal prosecutor Joon Kim and veteran labor attorney Anne Clark.
In his three-page letter, Katz said that Cuomo’s move “will have a chilling effect on potential witnesses or other accusers,” adding: “We urge the governor to be directed to stop this highly improper practice.”
Katz also asked James to “issue a public statement” refuting a report that his office had directed the Executive Chamber to conduct a “parallel” investigation into allegations that he touched an unidentified aide at the executive mansion. late last year.
Last week, a current Cuomo aide, Alyssa McGrath, publicly accused Cuomo of trying to cover up the alleged incident by asking the accuser “specifically not to tell me.”
Spokesmen for Cuomo and James did not immediately return requests for comment.