Metro

NY state troopers union rips AG James for releasing Cuomo transcripts

[ad_1]

A state troopers’ union blasted Attorney General Letitia James for releasing transcripts of interviews with ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s accusers, saying Wednesday that the move “re-victimized these women” and could hinder future investigations.

In a statement, the head of the New York State Police Investigators Association said his group “fully supported” the probe that found Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women — including one of his state police bodyguards — but called James’ action last week “disappointing.”

“The AG’s decision to release the transcripts has re-victimized these women, casting light on key witnesses, and all but publicly naming them,” NYSPIA President Tim Dymond said.

“The release of these transcripts will have severe unintended consequences, including the possibility that future victims, agonizing about the protection of their own identity, will not come forward.”

Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned amid the sexual harassment allegations over the summer.
Getty Images

On Nov. 10, James — who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor next year — used her official website to make public thousands of pages of documents from the independent investigation she commissioned into the avalanche of allegations that forced Cuomo to resign in August.

Her office said it was part of “an effort to provide full transparency to the people of New York” following the misdemeanor criminal charge filed against Cuomo last month in the alleged December groping of an aide inside the governor’s official residence, the Executive Mansion in Albany.

In an interview, Dymond told The Post that he “had no idea” James was going to release the transcripts of interviews with Cuomo and 10 of his accusers, including a female trooper who was promoted to the rank of investigator after being assigned to his security detail at his direction in January 2018.

The unidentified woman testified that Cuomo engaged in “creepy” flirtatious behavior and at different times ran his finger down her back and brushed his hand across her belly.

“I don’t know why they were released,” Dymond said of the transcripts.

“The sticking point for us is the victims involved here really did something difficult and stood up to someone, who at the time, was the most powerful man in New York.”

He added: “Now, every word they’ve said, besides some names and identities, are made public. It’s pretty well known that victims of sexual harassment or assault often don’t want to come forward because of embarrassment. We feel this could have a chilling effect on future victims coming forward.”

During her May 19 interview, the trooper also testified that a senior investigator on Cuomo’s security detail told her he’d seen the then-governor and a woman “making out on the sidewalk like they were high schoolers.”

The trooper also testified that she’d heard “a rumor” that Cuomo and the woman “were in a hotel room by themselves for like an hour” before an event about which the identifying details were blacked out.

The transcript only identifies the woman as “Senior Staffer #1” but The Post reported last week that three sources revealed she’s Melissa DeRosa, formerly Cuomo’s top aide.

In response, DeRosa said she had “no idea” whether she’s “Senior Staffer #1” but called the trooper’s testimony “flat-out false.”

Cuomo’s spokesman also denied that Cuomo had “a romantic relationship with any staffer” and accused James of engaging in the “continued weaponization” of the allegations against him “for her own political gain.”

James’ office and Cuomo’s spokesman both declined to comment Wednesday.

The trooper’s lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a message.

[ad_2]
Source link