District attorneys are investigating whether New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo engaged in criminal behavior within their jurisdictions after a Tuesday report from the state attorney general concluded that Cuomo is guilty of sexual harassment.
“I believe it is appropriate for my Office to conduct a further inquiry to determine if any of the reported conduct that is alleged to have occurred in Westchester County is criminal in nature,” Westchester County District Attorney Miriam Rocah wrote to New York Attorney General Letitia James in a letter obtained by NBC News.
The outlet reported that Rocah was particularly interested in Cuomo’s alleged harassment and unwelcome touching of a New York state trooper.
The state trooper was part of Cuomo’s security detail at his Mount Kisco home in Westchester County.
According to NBC News, Rocah asked James’ office to provide investigative materials, including “notes, reports or transcripts involving this trooper, as well as any materials involving any other alleged misconduct by the governor in Westchester.”
In a Wednesday statement, the district attorney confirmed that she had communicated with James regarding the report on Cuomo’s alleged sexual misconduct.
— DA Mimi Rocah (@WestchesterDA) August 4, 2021
“As some of the Governor’s conduct described in the report occurred in Westchester County, we have formally requested investigative materials obtained by the AG’s Office,” Rocah said, adding that her office will not comment further since the matter is still under investigation.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance reached out to James as well, according to an official.
“When our office learned yesterday that the [New York State attorney general] investigation of the Governor’s conduct was complete, our office contacted the A.G.’s Office to begin requesting investigative materials in their possession pertaining to incidents that occurred in Manhattan,” the official tweeted on Wednesday.
When our office learned yesterday that the @NewYorkStateAG investigation of the Governor’s conduct was complete, our office contacted the A.G.’s Office to begin requesting investigative materials in their possession pertaining to incidents that occurred in Manhattan.
— Danny Frost (@realdannyfrost) August 4, 2021
Vance’s office asked James for “any and all investigative materials” related to two “potential sex crimes” involving Cuomo, WNYC-FM reported.
James found that Cuomo “sexually harassed a number of State employees” but stopped short of charging him.
Her report noted that “a conclusion as to whether [Cuomo’s] conduct amounts to or should be the subject of criminal prosecution” had not been reached.
According to Bloomberg, New York law prevents the attorney general from opening criminal investigations or bringing charges without the approval of the governor or one of his department heads.
“The NYAG lacks jurisdiction to prosecute most state crimes without a formal referral from the governor,” Scott R. Wilson, former deputy New York attorney general, told the outlet. “Offenses like forcible touching are investigated by the district attorney where the alleged conduct occurred.”
State and federal lawmakers as well as President Joe Biden have called on Cuomo to resign in light of James’ report.
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