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World Cuomo Agrees to More Independent Investigation Into Harassment Allegations After Calls Mount

21:37  28 february  2021
21:37  28 february  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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Andrew Cuomo wearing a suit and tie: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shown above speaking at a news conference on September 08, 2020 in New York City. He has since agreed to a more independent investigation into the sexual assault allegation made against him. © Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images/Getty New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shown above speaking at a news conference on September 08, 2020 in New York City. He has since agreed to a more independent investigation into the sexual assault allegation made against him.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed to a more independent investigation into the sexual harassment allegations made against him on Sunday.

"The governor's office wants a review of the sexual harassment claims made against the governor to be done in a manner beyond reproach," Beth Garvey, special counsel and senior advisor to the governor, said in a statement Sunday.

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Garvey added that they asked the attorney general of New York State and the chief justice of the court of appeals to "jointly select an independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation" to conduct the investigation.

"The work product will be solely controlled by that independent lawyer personally selected by the attorney general and chief judge," Garvey said. "All members of the governor's office will cooperate fully."

In a tweet late Sunday morning, New York Attorney General Letitia James wrote: "Allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously. There must be a truly independent investigation to thoroughly review these troubling allegations against the governor, and I stand ready to oversee that investigation and make any appointments necessary."

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She also added: "Given state law, this can only be accomplished through an official referral from the governor's office and must include subpoena power. I urge the governor to make this referral immediately."

Cuomo's agreement followed growing calls for an independent investigation. The governor previously directed the investigation to former U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones, who worked alongside one of the governor's close advisers at a law firm.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for an independent investigation into the number of nursing home deaths and the allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo.

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"The state legislator must immediately revoke the governor's emergency powers that overrule local control," de Blasio said in a statement posted to Twitter Sunday. "In addition, two fully independent investigations must be held immediately into the deaths at nursing homes and the disturbing personal misconduct allegations."

"Precedence shows that investigations of the governor must be completed independent of his office," de Blasio continued. "The investigation into nursing home deaths must be free to examine campaign contributions from the nursing home industry and the investigation into sexual misconduct must be led by someone fully independent of the governor, not the former business partner of the governor's top advisor."

Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii also called for an independent investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo during a Sunday appearance on ABC News This Week.

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"The proper response for any of there kind of allegations of reprehensible, inexcusable behavior is to listen to the mainly women who come forward because it takes great courage for them to come forward, to listen to them, and then to do the appropriate investigation and corroboration of the allegations," Hirono said.

"In the case of Governor Cuomo, it seems to me that the New York attorney general would be the independent entity to conduct such an investigation," Hirono added.

Democratic Senator Kristen Gillibrand of New York also recommended for an "independent, transparent and swift investigation" into the accusations against the New York governor. The senator's statement was shared on Twitter Sunday by Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty.

Prior to Cuomo's agreement to a more independent investigation, journalist Glenn Greenwald criticized the governor's decision to "handpick" Jones.

"Governor Cuomo's scam of pretending to request an 'independent investigation' to be conducted by someone he handpicks— who just happens to be a crony of one of his closest aides— shouldn't be taken seriously by anyone," Greenwald tweeted Sunday morning prior to Cuomo's agreement.

Of Course Andrew Cuomo Isn’t Going to Resign

  Of Course Andrew Cuomo Isn’t Going to Resign But his dream of a fourth term is slipping away.Thousands more people in New York nursing homes died of COVID-19 last spring than was made public at the time, and over the past two weeks, Cuomo’s administration has slowly admitted to hiding the numbers. Two former aides have also stepped forward to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment, in addition to a third woman who has said he touched her back inappropriately and attempted to give her a kiss that she did not want.

"You don't get to select your own "independent investigator," Greenwald concluded.

Newsweek reached out to Cuomo's office, but didn't hear back in time for publication.

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Andrew Cuomo Told to Resign by Dozens of New York Elected Officials .
The governor is facing calls to leave his post following accusations of sexual harassment made against him.Five women have made accusations of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior against Cuomo.

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