New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be in trouble after the head of his impeachment inquiry, a vocal aide to the governor, went too far in a tweet about state Attorney General Letitia James, who is in a separate line of sexual assault allegations. are investigating.
In a letter sent to the governor on Wednesday, State Assembly Judiciary Chair Charles Lavin reminded Cuomo that in March he warned him that “neither you nor anyone associated with you engage in intimidation, retaliation.” is,” or attempts against those who have made the complaint. Cuomo or potential witness.
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“It is therefore difficult for me to understand that your communications director tweeted that Attorney General James, whose office is conducting parallel investigations, ‘says she may run against the governor,'” Lavin wrote. “It is clear that attempts to demean the attorney general also serve to undermine the investigation and send a deeply negative signal to witnesses.”
Cuomo’s communications director Rich Azzopardi tweeted in response to a New York Post article about transit workers union president John Samuelson that he was no longer supporting Cuomo.
“Samulson is an extortionist who is trying to undo pension reform. We also understand that she is a political supporter of Tish James and she says she can run against the governor, and that she is under his contract. I want more profit,” Ezopardi said.
“It is critically important to realize that any such remarks could have dire consequences,” Lavin said in his letter, recalling how he told Cuomo in March not to intimidate or counter-attack on his part. The action may be “considered by the committee as an attempt to suppress” other complainants and witnesses from coming forward.
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In a separate statement, Lavin said he was “extraordinarily concerned” by Ezopardi’s statement.
The attorney general’s office told LBL it is “going to comment” on the matter. Ezopardi has not responded to LBL’ request for comment.
Cuomo’s acting attorney, Beth Garvey, defended Ezopardi’s words because they were protected by freedom of speech.
“There is a clear distinction between actionable retaliation and protected speech and it is clear that the speaker does not understand the difference,” Garvey said.
On Saturday, Cuomo sat down for questioning before investigators in the attorney general’s sexual assault investigation.
New York Democrats have been accused by at least eight women A case of sexual misconduct including unwanted touching, inappropriate remarks, and creating an uncomfortable work environment for female employees.
Investigators have already spoken to Cuomo’s accusers and are believed to be in the final stages of the investigation.
LBL’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.