OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple has announced that a criminal investigation is underway into allegations that New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo groped an aide.
Apple said his investigation is in the “infant stages,” according to Fox News.
“I cannot get into the nature of her specific allegations at this time, obviously. We’re at the very infant stages of this investigation,” Apple said.
“We have a lot of fact-finding to do. We have a lot of interviews to conduct. And it would be totally premature for me to comment on any of that,” he added.
Apple said he “received a call from a local attorney” who “indicated that he had a female client who wished to come forward and file an allegation of criminal conduct against the governor.”
“I’m not going to rush it because of who he is, and I’m not going to delay it because of who he is,” Apple said.
Apple referred to the aide and others named in the report as “victims.”
“They’ve been through a rough period of time. The last thing I want to do is continue to re-victimize. Every time their faces pop up on TV, or their names are mentioned on TV or on radio, it does in fact put more stressors on them,” Apple said.
Apple said he is unsure what charges might result.
“What I have read so far I can say that, you know, we’re floating around a misdemeanor, but again, that’s just from the attorney general’s report,” he said.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced last week that an independent investigation into Cuomo found that he sexually harassed multiple women in violation of federal and state law.
Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou says she has drafted articles of impeachment against Cuomo.
Democrat New York Speaker of the House Carl Heastie seemed to suggest he would support impeachment.
“After our conference this afternoon to discuss the Attorney General’s report concerning sexual harassment allegations against Governor Cuomo, it is abundantly clear to me that the Governor has lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office,” Heastie said.
“Once we receive all relevant documents and evidence from the Attorney General, we will move expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as quickly as possible,” he added.
The Attorney General's independent investigation concluded that Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former staff, violating federal and state law.
I am calling on him to resign.
If Cuomo refuses, I am calling on @carlheastie & the Assembly to move to impeach immediately.
— Alessandra Biaggi (@SenatorBiaggi) August 3, 2021
Governor Cuomo has betrayed his office in so many truly horrifying ways. I’m calling on the legislature to immediately reconvene and impeach w/ @JuliaCarmel__ @phara4assembly @ZohranKMamdani & @EmilyAssembly pic.twitter.com/xp5RPl8sz5
— Jabari Brisport🌹 (@JabariBrisport) August 3, 2021
After the release of the report, Cuomo denied the allegations and said he had no plans to resign.
“There is another complaint I want to address from a woman in my office who said that I groped her in my home office. Let me be clear: That never happened,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said: “I welcome the opportunity for a full and fair review before a judge and a jury. Because this just did not happen. Other complaints raised against me questions that have sought to unfairly characterize and weaponize everyday interactions that I’ve had with any number of New Yorkers.”
“My attorney, who is a nonpolitical former federal prosecutor, has done a response to each allegation, and the facts are much different than what has been portrayed. That document is available on my website. If you are interested, please take the time to read the facts and decide for yourself. First, I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” he said.
Democrat Senate Majority Leader Andrew Stewart-Cousins said that Gov. Cuomo should resign for “the good of the state.”