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NY AG Appoints Former Federal Prosecutor To Lead Cuomo Investigation

New York Attorney General Tish James

New York Attorney General Tish James on Monday announced the appointment of a former federal prosecutor and a prominent employment discrimination attorney to lead an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment leveled against Governor Andrew Cuomo. Five women say the Democrat sexually harassed them or behaved inappropriately towards them. Former Acting U.S Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon Kim, who will co-lead the investigation with attorney Anne Clark, is the former top deputy to former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Bharara successfully brought criminal cases against several former Cuomo associates. Kim was his chief deputy in some of the cases, including one that put the governor’s former closest aide, Joe Percoco, in prison.

Clark has successfully represented plaintiffs in numerous sexual harassment and other employment discrimination cases in the private sector, in education and in government.

AG James, in a statement, says their work will include issuing subpoenas, examining relevant documents and records, conducting interviews and formal depositions, and analyzing data pertinent to the investigation. They will report weekly to the Attorney General, and at the end issue a report of their findings, which will be made available to the general public.  

Meanwhile, another member of Cuomo’s top staff has announced her departure, after more women came forward with allegations over the weekend. Kumiki Gibson, acting chief counsel, is leaving to take a job with a nonprofit. She will be replaced by Beth Garvey, who has been managing the administration’s response to the crisis.

Gibson joins press secretary Caitlin Girouard, who is leaving for the private sector, a transition already in the works before the scandal. Gareth Rhodes, who’s been a senior advisor to Cuomo during the COVID-19 pandemic, is returning to his job at the state’s financial services agency.  

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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