Cuomo sends letter authorizing probe of harassment claims

WWNY Cuomo sends letter authorizing probe of harassment claims

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - New York’s attorney general said she’s moving forward with an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo after receiving a letter from his office Monday authorizing her to take charge of the probe.

The referral letter allows Attorney General Letitia James to deputize an outside law firm to conduct the inquiry with full subpoena power.

When the investigation is finished, the findings will be disclosed in a public report, the letter said.

James, in a statement announcing she received the letter, said, “This is not a responsibility we take lightly as allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously.”

Two women who’ve worked for Cuomo have come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment.

The governor acknowledged for the first time Sunday that some of his behavior with women “may have been insensitive or too personal,” and said he would cooperate with the AG’s investigation.

There’s support from local state lawmakers for an independent investigation into Cuomo.

“An independent investigation is essential at this time as a way to seek the truth,” said Senator Joe Griffo (R. - 47th District).

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush agrees. The Republican told 7 News the allegations are disturbing and make it clear that an independent investigation is needed.

Republican Senator Patty Ritchie said she is pleased the attorney general is taking this matter seriously.

The letter authorizing James’ investigation said that all state employees have been directed to cooperate fully with the review. Cuomo senior advisor Beth Garvey penned the letter and said she would facilitate interviews with witness and requests for documents from Cuomo’s office.

The referral came after a weekend of wrangling over who should investigate his workplace behavior. First, Cuomo’s office said it would ask a former federal judge to conduct the probe. Then, it suggested James and the state’s top judge work together to appoint outside counsel to look into the matter.

Finally, on Sunday, Cuomo acquiesced to James’ demands to take control the inquiry.

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