ALBANY — Former governor Andrew Cuomo is following through on his threat to file a misconduct complaint against Attorney General Letitia James and the independent investigators who probed sexual harassment allegations against him.
Cuomo filed a formal ethics complaint on Tuesday with one of the state’s judicial committees tasked with reviewing allegations of professional misconduct involving attorneys.
The 48-page complaint accuses James of intentionally mishandling her office’s probe and the bombshell report that concluded Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, prompting his resignation last year.
“She engaged in a terrible and quite obvious manipulation of facts, evidence and the law, furthered a false narrative about me, and hid evidence that undermined the Report from the media and the public,” Cuomo writes in the complaint.
The document goes on to rehash several grievances the former governor has aired publicly since stepping down, accusing James of furthering “a false public narrative about (him) in and after the issuance of the misleading and inaccurate Report.”
It also equates James’ actions to those of former mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was barred from practicing law in New York by the state Supreme Court’s Attorney Grievance Committee because he made false claims about the 2020 election.
Cuomo compared James to Giuliani, who served as former president Donald Trump’s personal attorney, arguing that they have both publicly made “misleading and false statements.”
The ex-governor and his supporters have repeatedly cast the harassment investigation as politically-motivated and accused James and the independent investigators in charge of the probe of cherry-picking evidence and withholding information.
The complaint goes on to accuse James of the “slow-roll, selective and public release of certain transcripts and other evidence” while she briefly ran for governor last year and prosecutors were weighing charges against Cuomo.
The 64-year-old maintains that he did nothing wrong and has denied he touched anyone inappropriately.
District attorneys who reviewed the evidence collected by James’ office found Cuomo’s accusers credible but said they did not have enough evidence to bring criminal charges, including a case in Albany County related to a former aide who says Cuomo groped her.
In the complaint filed Tuesday, Cuomo argues that James, as well as outside lawyers Joon Kim and Anne Clark, should be disciplined for violating rules of professional conduct, including one barring lawyers from engaging “in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.”
The New York City-based Attorney Grievance Committee, one of four in the state, could initiate disciplinary proceedings or chose to dismiss the claims.
In Giuliani’s case, the court temporarily suspended the former mayor’s law license on the recommendation of a disciplinary committee. Further disciplinary actions could still be taken against him.
Cuomo contends that Kim and Clark “likewise engaged in misconduct by misleading the public about the evidence and facts in the Report, and the manner in which they deliberately omitted evidence contradicting allegations of sexual harassment and undermining witness and complainant credibility.”
Rita Glavin, the ex-governor’s lawyer, first threatened to file a complaint against James and the investigators in February as the governor mounted a bid to restore his public image.
Cuomo and his legal team have repeatedly attacked his accusers and attempted to discredit their accounts. He also made a pair of appearances at city churches and spent campaign money on television ads to clear his name.
Around the same time, an advocacy group filed a complaint with the Attorney Grievance Committee seeking Cuomo’s disbarment.
Members of the Sexual Harassment Working Group, made up of former legislative staffers who experienced harassment and worse at the hands of powerful Albany politicians, argued that Cuomo “is not fit to continue serving as an attorney in the state of New York.”
Last month, Cuomo filed a separate lawsuit against James for failing to provide him with legal representation after one of his accusers took him to court. His lawyers argue that James’ office wrongfully denied the ex-gov’s request for counsel after a state trooper who accused him of misconduct sued him.
A representative for James did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Cuomo’s complaint.
Back in February, her office slammed the former governor when Glavin first raised the prospect of filing a formal grievance.
“For months, Andrew Cuomo has been hiding behind his campaign lawyer and falsely crying ‘witch hunt’ despite previously admitting to this misconduct multiple times,” the attorney general’s office said. “If he thinks he has a real legal case, he should go ahead and file it. These attacks are disgraceful and yet another desperate charade to mask the truth: Andrew Cuomo is a serial sexual harasser.”
©2022 New York Daily News. Visit nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.