The Albany County Sheriff’s Office says it is in the “very infant stages” of investigating a criminal complaint against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Authorities addressed the complaint for the first time Saturday, following news of the complaint being made public Friday.
The complaint — which Sheriff Craig Apple described as “sexual in nature” — came just days after the state attorney general’s office released a report detailing its own investigation into a string of public allegations of sexual misconduct against the Democratic governor.
During a Saturday news conference, Apple said if charges were to be brought in the case, he believes they would amount to a misdemeanor, or possibly a couple of misdemeanors.
Apple said his office received a call Wednesday afternoon from attorney Brian Premo that ultimately resulted in the complaint being filed.
“He indicated that he had a female client who wished to come forward and file an allegation of criminal conduct against the governor,” Apple said, noting that the Premo and his client were then forwarded over to investigators.
Apple was short on additional details about the allegation and the investigation.
“I can tell you that the complaint occurred in the city of Albany. I can tell you that the city of Albany and the state capital buildings are located in our great county,” Apple said.
The woman who brought the criminal complaint is also an unnamed executive assistant to Cuomo who was mentioned in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ report. The governor allegedly reached under the woman’s shirt and grabbed her breast, according to that report.
Cuomo’s communications director, Richard Azzopardi, told NPR in a statement that the governor’s office “proactively” referred the incident to the Albany police in March.
Apple acknowledged the high-profile nature of the case, but insisted that Cuomo’s position as a public figure would not affect the course of the criminal investigation.
“This is obviously a very high profile investigation. There is a lot of information out there. We have a lot of fact-finding to do. We have a lot of interviews to do,” Apple said. “I’m not going to rush it because of who he is — and I’m not going to delay it because of who he is.”
Attorneys for Cuomo have remained defiant in the days after the release of the state attorney general’s report, calling its findings “unfair and inaccurate.”
“I know the difference between putting together a case against a target versus doing independent fact-finding with an open mind,” Cuomo’s attorney Rita Glavin said Friday. “There has been no open-minded fact finding here.”
As the governor faces mounting pressure to resign, members of the state assembly — led by Democrats — say they support resuming impeachment proceedings that began in March if Cuomo does not resign.