Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday filed a 48-page state ethics complaint against state Attorney General Letitia James, claiming that she had deliberately mishandled a sexual harassment investigation against him and used the outcome for political purposes.
"A.G. James cynically manipulated a legal process for personal, political gain," the complaint, signed by Cuomo, says, reported The New York Times. It added that James disclosed the findings at a news conference "that was meant to be prejudicial and highly inflammatory, and to villainize me in the public eye, and to mislead the public and the press that I had sexually harassed 11 women, which simply was not true."
Cuomo resigned in August 2021. James ran for governor briefly after he stepped down. Both are Democrats.
In his complaint, Cuomo reiterated many of the arguments he made before about the investigation, calling its final report inaccurate and misleading. He also said the investigators omitted evidence that was in his favor and was used for James' political gains.
The complaint was filed with a state attorney grievance committee that investigates lawyers and disciplines those who it finds have violated rules on professional conduct. If the committee doesn't decide to drop the complaint over insufficient evidence, it could investigate and initiate disciplinary proceedings and actions that could include several options, ranging from a letter of admonishment to disbarring James.
Cuomo argues that James, along with outside attorneys Joon Kim and Anne Clark, who were doing the investigating, had violated several rules including engaging "in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation."
Five district attorneys that opened investigations on Cuomo after James' report, though, concluded that there was not enough legal evidence to bring criminal charges against him, but several said they found the women accusing him to be credible.
Cuomo has been pushing to recoup his reputation, which was damaged after he resigned under the threat of impeachment. Two weeks ago, he emailed his supporters a New York Daily News opinion piece that raised questions about the claims made against him.
He also spent $60,000 on Facebook ads in August, promoting the article and taking other steps in an attempt to change the narrative surrounding his fall from power and his resignation.
Cuomo has also spent millions of dollars on television ads seeking to restore his public image, and a judge ruled in August that he wouldn't have to turn over the proceeds of his $5.1 million book deal on the pandemic to a state ethics panel, which sued him in an attempt to force him to turn over the money.
Earlier this year, Cuomo caused speculation that he might be plotting his return to politics, including a potential run as an independent, but since then has kept a low profile.
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