Three district attorneys conducting criminal probes of ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo have urged state Attorney General Letitia James not to publicly release evidence from her office’s sexual harassment investigation into him that could compromise their ongoing cases.
“While I respect the right of the public to have access to the same materials, I fear that making them available at this time could compromise our investigation,” Albany County District Attorney David Soares wrote James on Monday.
Soares in his letter, which was first reported by CNN, said he wanted “an opportunity to thoroughly review them and to conduct our own interviews.”
Brittany Commisso, an aide who accused Cuomo of groping her and kissing her on the lips at the executive mansion, filed a criminal complaint against him with the Albany Sheriff’s Office earlier this month.
Soares is reviewing the complaint. Cuomo denied it happened.
Commisso was interviewed by the AG’s investigators and referred to as “executive assistant 1” before going public in an interview with CBS.
Meanwhile Nassau County’s Special Victims Bureau head Amanda Burke said releasing transcripts of witness depositions “at this stage” has “the potential to jeopardize the ongoing criminal investigation.
Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes also said he’s “still exploring whether it is possible to file criminal charges regarding the alleged conduct” against Cuomo and cautioned “that the public release of additional information may hinder or impair any potential prosecution.”
The 168-page report on Cuomo from James’ office includes an allegation from Virginia Limmiatis, a spokesperson for National Grid, connected to an event at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery on May 24, 2017.
Limmiatis told the AG’s office she reached for a handshake at the event, but Cuomo instead pressed his fingers on the company name printed across the chest of her shirt.
A spokesperson for James responded, “As we have said from the beginning, we will cooperate, as appropriate, with other law enforcement agencies conducting criminal investigations into the former governor’s conduct.”
The AG’s report concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, including current and former staffers. Cuomo denied he broke the law. He denied all of the allegations.
But Cuomo was forced to resign, which became effective on Monday, as scandals surrounding him and his office piled up.