September 24, 2021

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Cuomo’s tenure nears close, but his lawful headaches could have just begun

4 min read

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has resigned, but his lawful complications are far from about.

Cuomo on Tuesday stated he’d stage down in 14 days just after a damning report from the state’s legal professional normal documenting accusations of sexual harassment from approximately a dozen females. But he could nonetheless face civil satisfies and criminal prices stemming from people allegations.

“He faces likely civil liability, assuming statutes of limitations have not expired,” NBC Information authorized analyst Danny Cevallos explained, adding that Cuomo also “does encounter possible prison legal responsibility.”

Cuomo stays the subject of other really serious investigations, such as regardless of whether his workplace was concerned in the underreporting of the state’s Covid-19 dying toll in nursing homes and no matter if he misused state means to generate and advertise a reserve about how he dealt with the pandemic.

Sexual harassment legal and civil suits

New York state Legal professional Basic Letitia James’ report on Cuomo particulars allegations of sexual harassment manufactured by 11 women of all ages, nine of whom had been condition personnel.

Any of the women of all ages who have presently come ahead with allegations, or anybody who may perhaps arrive forward in the upcoming with allegations, has the correct to file a civil fit against Cuomo for damages.

In addition, Cuomo stays the focus on of ongoing felony probes, introduced just after James produced her report.

Five district attorneys in the condition have seized on aspects in James’ report — in Albany, Nassau, Oswego and Westchester counties, as properly as in the borough of Manhattan — and are both investigating whether or not Cuomo violated any felony statutes or have asked for investigative materials from James’ office.

The most major investigation, NBC News correspondent Tom Winter season stated Tuesday, was in Albany County, where Cuomo is accused of groping an govt assistant. The assistant submitted a felony criticism against Cuomo with the county sheriff’s workplace, a spokesperson for the sheriff told NBC News.

The staffer, Brittany Commisso, came ahead publicly in an interview with CBS and the Times Union of Albany that was launched Monday. If Cuomo had been arrested and billed in connection with the accusation, he could be arrested. The most likely demand would be a Course A misdemeanor, Wintertime documented.

Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing and disputed many of the allegations towards him.

Cevallos, meanwhile, observed that James’ report had not been subjected to the “crucible of cross-examination,” meaning that official legal investigations, contrary to James’ report, would be held to a significantly heavier degree of scrutiny that is needed in the lawful process.

“You may possibly think every phrase in the report,” Cevallos claimed. But “once it goes as a result of the adversarial system and witnesses are cross-examined, that is exactly where you locate out if this is a scenario prosecutors can demonstrate further than a sensible question.”

Nursing house scandal

Cuomo is also struggling with the fallout from a months-outdated probe into how his administration managed the recording of nursing house Covid-19 fatalities.

In January, James’ business office issued a report that discovered that the condition well being division had underreported the Covid-19 death toll in nursing homes by as a lot as 50 percent. A top rated Cuomo aide was then caught on tape telling Democratic legislators that the administration took months to launch the total information about nursing house residents in portion due to the fact of problems that the information and facts was “going to be applied versus us” by the Trump administration.

The U.S. lawyer in Brooklyn and the FBI began a preliminary investigation into how the Cuomo administration dealt with the information. The investigations are nonetheless open.

Cuomo was then accused in mid-February of owning threatened to “demolish” a Democratic lawmaker who had alleged that the administration “protected up” the nursing property quantities. Cuomo has denied any include-up.

Reserve crafting thoughts

James’ office has been investigating whether or not the governor misused condition resources to create and promote a e book he printed last Oct about his management in the course of the peak of the pandemic.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo walks to his helicopter after announcing his resignation in New York on Tuesday.Caitlin Ochs / Reuters

Cuomo was paid additional than $5.1 million for the ebook — titled “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the Covid-19 Pandemic” — a sum that significantly exceeds the $225,000-a-12 months income he can make as governor, in accordance to the Empire Middle for Public Coverage.

In April, the condition comptroller’s business approved the state legal professional normal to look into no matter if Cuomo used staffers and condition resources to aid in creating the e book, which is prohibited by state regulation.

Cuomo has insisted that any work by point out employees on the e book was voluntary. A spokesman for Cuomo instructed NBC Information in May perhaps that any perform on the reserve was “in compliance with condition ethics regulations and done on their personalized time.”

James mentioned very last 7 days, throughout her information convention asserting the release of her office’s report on the sexual harassment allegations from Cuomo, that the investigation into irrespective of whether the governor utilized condition resources to aid him publish the book was “ongoing.”

“The investigation, with regard to the e book and whether or not community sources ended up utilized, is ongoing and it is different and aside from this investigation,” James mentioned.

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