Any resignation, no matter however remote, by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) would not terminate the outside investigation into allegations that he engaged in sexual harassment, according to a source. New York Governor's Office/YouTube/Fair Use

The outside independent investigation looking at allegations of sexual harassment against Gov. Cuomo has no political relief valve, will not end upon resignation

A potential resignation by Gov. Cuomo, as increasingly sought by his critics, will not terminate the outside investigation : source.

By Progress New York Staff

Updated 12 Mar 2021 13:00 Even as Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) faces increasing calls for his resignation — by a majority of State Legislators, according to a tabulation by the Association Press — over allegations of sexual harassment made by numerous women, including several aides, the possibility of a resignation, no matter how remote, would not terminate the outside investigation appointed by State Attorney General Letitia James (D-NY), Progress New York has learned.

Under guidelines applicable for Federal investigations, prosecutors can negotiate to settle an investigation of a senior Government official in exchange for their resignation. See, e.g., Justice Manual, § 9-16.110. Additionally, some Federal investigations of Government officials require approval by the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. See e.g., Justice Manual, § 9-110.310(7). Those relief valves are available to prosecutors looking into allegations that the Cuomo administration obstructed justice by withholding complete data about COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, for example.

But the attorneys appointed to head the independent, outside investigation into Gov. Cuomo are not expected to offer Gov. Cuomo opportunities to end their probe. The State Attorney General’s outside investigation can be expected to reach its completeness, with the issuance of a report, regardless of whether Gov. Cuomo resigns, according to a person familiar with the outside investigation. Furthermore, there is no political appointee in Washington, like in the Criminal Division, who can scuttle the harassment probe. To make clear the independent nature of the outside investigation, State Attorney General James revealed late Thursday that plans by the New York State Assembly to begin an impeachment investigation would not deter the independent probe. This signals that the outside investigation cannot be closed with a potential resignation of Gov. Cuomo. For this report, the two outside attorneys named by State Attorney General James, Joon Kim and Anne Clark, did not answer a media request.

Generally, outside investigators do have the power to refer crimes to prosecutors.

Related to the allegations of sexual harassment made against Gov. Cuomo are allegations that the Cuomo administration engaged in acts of retaliation or retribution against victims and other political enemies. For example, after Lindsey Boylan went public with her accusation against Gov. Cuomo, somebody leaked her personnel file to the media. Almost immediately, negative reports appeared in the press about Ms. Boylan, according to a report published by the New Yorker magazine.

Separately, Gov. Cuomo reportedly threatened that he would leak embarrassing files about his critics that were in the possession of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, an oversight committee that he politically controls, according to a social media post published by Assemblymember Ron Kim (D-Queens).

Generally, outside investigators have the power to refer crimes to prosecutors. In the case of the outside investigators named to the harassment probe, they serve as special deputies to the First Deputy State Attorney General, with powers of that office. However, it is not known which exact office powers Mr. Kim or Ms. Clark will be able to exercise. A request for information made to the State Attorney General’s Office was not immediately answered.

Also on Thursday, it was revealed that Gov. Cuomo’s counsel, Beth Garvey, had self-reported details about the latest allegation of sexual misconduct to the Albany Police Department on Wednesday evening, according to a report published by the New York Times. Meanwhilst, the attorneys conducting the independent, outside investigation, launched a Web site to collect information about the allegations of sexual harassment against Gov. Cuomo.

One of Gov. Cuomo’s notable critics, New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin, has described Gov. Cuomo as fancying himself as “political royalty,” observing that Gov. Cuomo was “not even being honest with himself about his predicament.” The morning after Clifford Levy, the deputy managing editor of the New York Times noted that Gov. Cuomo was “seeing his party turn against him,” a majority of the Democratic Party’s Congressional delegation, issued statements, calling on Gov. Cuomo to resign, according to a report moved by the Times.

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