N.Y. sheriff defends filing of criminal complaint against Cuomo
CLARKSVILLE, N.Y. —
A New York sheriff on Friday defended his resolution to file a legal grievance towards former New York governor Andrew Cuomo with out consulting prosecutors or the accuser, a lady who says the Democrat groped her late final 12 months.
However Sheriff Craig Apple mentioned he was assured within the energy of the case, which he mentioned was primarily based on witness interviews and voluminous information.
“I really feel very assured that the district lawyer goes to prosecute this,” he informed reporters at a information convention in Albany, the state capital.
A courtroom summons requires Cuomo to seem for an arraignment on Nov. 17, although that date might change.
He can be allowed to report voluntarily, however undersheriff William Rice informed The Related Press the ex-governor can be booked on the sheriff’s headquarters, together with being photographed, fingerprinted and possibly positioned in handcuffs throughout a transport to courtroom. Cuomo won’t doubtless spend any time in a holding cell, Rice mentioned.
The one-page grievance filed in Albany Metropolis Courtroom accuses Cuomo of forcible touching by placing his hand beneath a lady’s shirt on Dec. 7.
The grievance didn’t identify the lady, however she has recognized herself as Brittany Commisso, who labored as certainly one of Cuomo’s govt assistants earlier than he resigned amid sexual harassment allegations in August.
Forcible touching is a misdemeanor in New York, punishable by as much as a 12 months in jail, although many circumstances for first-time offenders are resolved with probation or a shorter jail sentence.
After the cost was filed, the Albany County District Lawyer’s Workplace mentioned that it had not been knowledgeable forward of time. It has been conducting its personal investigation and was anticipated to take the lead on a call about whether or not to prosecute.
Commisso’s lawyer, Brian Premo, mentioned he had additionally anticipated the district lawyer’s workplace to deal with the case.
“I’ve little question that the sheriff’s investigators did an intensive job,” Premo informed Albany radio station Speak 1300. “I’ve little question that they consider of their case. I’ve no situation with any of that. It is simply that it is a politically charged matter, proper? … So I believe it is solely prudent to permit the prosecutorial authority to have a say in how the investigation is performed and whether or not there is a prosecution, proper?”
In an interview earlier within the day with Speak 1300, Apple mentioned it was “disheartening” that the courtroom system made the legal grievance public instantly, one thing he described as a “leak,” though such courtroom filings are public in New York and are routinely made out there to reporters.
“We did not need all people to know precisely what we had been doing as a result of we did not need all this, the circus,” Apple mentioned on the radio program, as he sought to elucidate the confusion over the grievance’s submitting Thursday.
“We weren’t anticipating a five-minute turnaround” for the courtroom to determine whether or not to situation a summons or a warrant, he mentioned later, including that the confusion would don’t have any impact on a “strong case.”
He counseled his investigators, saying “they took a really high-profile investigation and determined to interrupt it down.”
He mentioned it was commonplace for the sheriff’s workplace to file misdemeanor fees within the metropolis courtroom with out first consulting with the district lawyer’s workplace.
Commisso accused Cuomo of groping her once they had been alone in an workplace on the governor’s mansion in Albany. Cuomo has denied the allegations.
The AP doesn’t determine alleged sexual assault victims except they determine to inform their tales publicly, as Commisso has executed.
The previous governor’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, reasserted the governor’s denial and mentioned the sheriff’s submitting of the legal grievance was politically motivated. She cited Friday’s announcement by state Lawyer Normal Letitia James that she is going to run for governor.
“The timing of this cost, on the eve of Tish James saying her run for governor, is extremely suspect and will give all of us pause that the heavy hand of politics is behind this resolution,” Glavin mentioned.
James oversaw a civil investigation into Cuomo’s conduct with girls, however she was not concerned within the sheriff’s legal probe.
“We anticipate clear-headed individuals will make higher selections going ahead,” Glavin mentioned in a press release. “However ought to this case transfer ahead, we’re ready to vigorously defend the governor and problem each side of the specious, inconsistent and uncorroborated allegations made towards him.”