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Staffer files criminal complaint against New York governor

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a daily briefing at North Shore University Hospital, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhasset, New York, May 6, 2020.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

A former staffer for embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who previously told investigators that he touched her backside as they took a selfie photo together, has filed a criminal complaint against the Democrat, an upstate sheriff’s office said.

The Albany County District Attorney’s Office, which already was investigating Cuomo in connection with at least one other allegation of sexual harassment, since has been notified of the woman’s claims by that county’s sheriff, according to The New York Post, which first reported that she had lodged her complaint.

Cuomo could be arrested if the DA determines their is probable cause to believe the woman’s claim.

The woman who made that complaint was identified earlier this week as “Executive Assistant #1” in a damning official report on Cuomo issued by state Attorney General Letitia James, according to a spokesperson for Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, who spoke with NBC News.

That investigation by lawyers retained by James concluded that Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women who work or had worked for the state and elsewhere, retaliated against one of the accusers, and presided over a toxic office culture laden with fear and intimidation.

“Executive Assistant #1” filed her complaint against Cuomo on Thursday afternoon during a short meeting with officials in the Albany County Sheriff’s Office.

“The end result could either be it sounds substantiated and an arrest is made and it would be up to the DA to prosecute the arrest,” Apple told The Post.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment by CNBC.

CNBC has reached out for comment from the Albany County DA’s office, which would prosecute any case stemming from the complaint, if charges are lodged.

At least three other DA offices, in Manhattan and in Nassau and Westchester counties, have asked James for investigative materials collected as part of the probe of Cuomo.

Cuomo, who is in his third term, has strongly denied sexually harassing any woman.

But in the days since James’ report was issued, the governor has appeared to lose virtually all of his remaining political defenders.

President Joe Biden and New York’s two U.S. senators, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as many other Democrats and the head of the party in New York have all called on Cuomo to resign.

A top state Assembly committee warned Cuomo this week it would soon conclude an impeachment inquiry into his conduct, and asked him to give that panel any evidence for the probe.

Cuomo is expected to be impeached in coming months.

Please check back for updates.


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