DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN (WABC) -- Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, whose investigator filed the criminal complaint against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, expressed confidence Friday in the case.
"I feel very confident the district attorney is going to prosecute," Apple said during a news conference.
The district attorney had said he was surprised by the complaint and the sheriff conceded he did not expect the complaint to be filed when it was.
Apple said he had spoken to Albany County DA David Soares but declined to reveal the substance of the conversation.
The sheriff denied accusations from Cuomo's lawyer and spokesman that politics motivated the complaint.
"We handled this like we handle every other investigation," Apple said. "This charge fits the allegation and it fits the evidence."
Meanwhile on Friday, three potential candidates vying to become the next governor of New York were under one roof.
New York Attorney General Letitia James certainly didn't share her plans at the annual pre-election breakfast but announced later in the day she would be running.
Instead of sharing her plans at the breakfast, she rallied Democrats in support of mayoral candidate Eric Adams.
"Let us march into those polls on Tuesday, deliver Eric Adams as our mayor," James told those gathered.
One-by-one, candidates dashed in and dashed out of Junior's, including NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is also thinking about running for governor, and current NY Governor Kathy Hochul.
She of course took over for Cuomo after he resigned and wants to be elected to her own full term.
All three candidates are preparing for a primary fight after James' bombshell investigative report took down Governor Cuomo.
On Thursday the Albany County Sheriff's Office announced a criminal charge against him: one count of misdemeanor forcible touching.
The timing stated in the charge matches the account of Brittany Commisso, who was an aide to the governor last December, when she claims he fondled her in the executive mansion.
But the manner in which the charge was announced, legal experts say, was unusual.
The sheriff chose not to consult with the district attorney or the accuser and went around them instead.
"It doesn't help the prosecutor to have it rolled out in this way and it also doesn't help the alleged victim," said attorney Gloria Allred.
The Cuomo camp wasted no time seizing on that apparent misstep, his lawyer, Rita Glavin, saying, "This is not professional law enforcement, this is politics."
Cuomo's spokesperson, Rich Azzopardi, added, "It doesn't pass the laugh test, and this process reeks of Albany politics and perhaps worse. The fact that the AG - as predicted - is about to announce a run for governor is lost on no one. The truth about what happened with this cowboy sheriff will come out."
Late Friday morning, Governor Hochul said she continues to stand by the women.
"I have always stood with, and continue to believe, the women in this situation," she said.
But she refused to say whether prosecuting the former governor is the right course.
While legal experts say Cuomo is unlikely to see the inside of a jail cell, he is due in court next month.
Apple told an Albany radio station Friday morning that the former governor will be fingerprinted and photographed on November 17.
"I don't believe there'll be a perp walk or handcuffs. And we're not looking to show boat," he told 1300 AM.
Apple said he is "very comfortable with the information that we've obtained and our victim has been in contact with us."
"I'm not sure what the district attorney's investigation has as of this point, but we did separate investigations," he said.
Asked about Albany County District Attorney David Soares' surprise that the summons was made public yesterday, Apple agreed that "we were a bit taken aback ... It happened so fast. It happens, and at the end of the day, the facts are the facts."
CUOMO'S RESIGNATION: A timeline of the sex harassment allegations
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