State Attorney General Letitia James isn’t playing around: She’s bringing out the big guns to lead the independent investigation into the allegations that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed female aides.
James tapped Joon Kim, a former acting US attorney for the Southern District who was deeply involved in the Buffalo Billion corruption prosecution, and top-notch employment-discrimination lawyer Anne Clark to head the team of lawyers looking into Cuomo.
James rightly called the duo “independent legal experts who have decades of experience conducting investigations and fighting to uphold the rule of law,” with “the knowledge and background necessary to … provide New Yorkers with the answers they deserve.”
Oh, and neither has ties to Cuomo or any Democratic machine. No wonder the lawyer for one Cuomo accuser says this proves James “is taking this matter very seriously.”
Then again, James helped break the nursing-home scandal wide open with her January report outing the outrageous undercount of care-home COVID deaths. Though Cuomo helped her achieve her current high office, she’s plainly decided against shielding him. Indeed, she forthrightly rejected his effort to have a hand in choosing the investigators. (It surely helps that she’d like to win his job some day, maybe even next year.)
That leaves us with two concerns: 1) Cuomo is surely plotting to drag out the investigation until the heat dies down. And 2) New Yorkers deserve an immediate, public investigation, with witnesses testifying under oath, into the gov’s deadly nursing-home wrongdoings.
It’ll be perverse indeed if Cuomo escapes accountability for his role in hundreds of needless deaths because he’s enmeshed in the harassment scandal.