(WSYR-TV) — More twists and turns can be expected in Albany Monday as the legislature returns and the ball is now in State Attorney General Letitia James’ court. It’s her job to select a lawyer to conduct an independent investigation of the sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Initially, Saturday night the Cuomo administration announced former Federal Judge Barbara Jones would lead a review of the harassment allegations against the governor butt after a lot of backlash, Cuomo appears to have relented and allowed the Attorney General to select an independent investigator. This referral is important because it carries subpoena power.
Allegations were published in a New York Times story Saturday night stating the governor made comments that former Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett interpreted as clear overtures to a sexual relationship. She told the Times that Cuomo asked whether she had ever had sex with older men.
In a statement Sunday night, Cuomo said he never intended to offend anyone or cause harm. He acknowledged some of his actions have been misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation and he apologized.
Now, Attorney General James is expected to appoint that law firm to conduct this investigation.
“It really comes down to the Attorney General to find someone that she trusts. Someone, I’m sure, with a sterling reputation. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s someone who’s a former prosecutor either in her office or from the Department of Justice,” said Jack O’Donnell, president of O’Donnell and Associates. O’Donnell runs a government relations firm and has done consulting work for the governor before.