3 investigations underway in Cuomo scandals, accuser Ana Liss speaks out

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, March 18, 2021
3 investigations underway in scandals surrounding Governor Cuomo
EMBED <>More Videos

There are now three investigations underway into the scandals surrounding Governor Andrew Cuomo, the third being a review by the governor's office itself. Accusers, however, are pushing back on some of the inquiries.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There are now three investigations underway into the scandals surrounding Governor Andrew Cuomo, the third being a review by the governor's office itself. Accusers, however, are pushing back on some of the inquiries.

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he and Chairman Charles Lavine announced the hiring of the law firm that will assist the Assembly Judiciary Committee in the impeachment investigation.

The Assembly retained the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

The hiring did not come without controversy from one of the accusers.

The attorney for Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett said the assembly's hiring is alarming because of the firm's connections to the governor.

Debra Katz said in a statement: "Attorney General Letitia James made very impressive hires in Joon Kim and Ann Clark, two attorneys with a wealth of experience and independence. This, of course, is critical to ensure that victims and witnesses, including current employees, feel comfortable coming forward. Political independence is fundamental to the integrity of the investigation. We were alarmed to learn that Speaker Heastie has hired Davis Polk to assist with the investigation, given the connection between Dennis Glazer, who spent more than 30 years as a partner at Davis Polk, and the Governor. This is an unacceptable conflict of interest. The impeachment investigation must operate free of political influence and must be transparent, detailing for the public the steps being taken to protect the integrity of their impeachment investigation. We already know the extent to which Governor Cuomo has surrounded himself with people in the Executive Chamber who enabled his behavior and swept evidence of sexual harassment under the rug. If there is even a hint of political influence in the impeachment investigation, it will taint the entire proceedings. While Ms. Bennett is committed to cooperating with all appropriate governmental inquiries, including the impeachment investigation, the involvement of Davis Polk gives her pause. I suspect it will have the same effect on other women who were sexually harassed by the governor."

Assembly Speaker Heastie fired back, "We wanted to move in an expeditious manner, which everyone has been asking us for. And we feel like we landed on a pretty good firm."

Accuser Lindsey Boylan tweeted in response "Do not trust @CarlHeastie. His impeachment investigation is not designed to be transparent or to move fast, and there's nothing @NYGovCuomo wants more than time. Many of us have not put our whole lives on the line for this crap. I certainly have not and will not.

Boylan minutes later tweeting, "What would be the point of survivors talking to investigators of your sham investigation @CarlHeastie? I am in conversation with other women who have no interest in your corrupt, cynical investigation. Hard Pass."

Meanwhile, accuser Ana Liss met with Attorney General James and her investigative team on Thursday.

"During my time in the Executive Chamber, it was a toxic, verbally abusive, retaliatory workplace, especially for young women like myself," Liss said in a statement. "Sexual harassment on the Governor's behalf is a significant piece of the investigation, but he neither is nor was the only person in the administration responsible for offensive conduct ranging from scatological name-calling to outright objectification of women's bodies."

A poll of registered voters from Quinnipiac University released this afternoon finds that while Gov Cuomo's support is dipping,

However, while the Cuomo's support is dwindling, a new poll of registered voters from Quinnipiac University released Thursday afternoon, shows that most New Yorkers think the governor should not resign.

Amongst voters, 49% say he should not resign, while 43% believe he should. However, Cuomo's job approval rating is at its lowest point since he took office in 2011.

Meantime, Cuomo responded to President Joe Biden's comments Wednesday regarding the sexual harassment allegations against the New York governor.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, President Biden said that Cuomo should resign if an investigation confirms claims he committed sexual harassment.

"The president said there should be a review," Cuomo said. "I agree with him on that, the people of New York agree with him on that, people of New York in the Siena poll said, 50% to 35%, or something like that, that i should not resign. 35% said I should resign. By the way 35% would say i should resign anyway. There has always been 35% against me, on the normal political spectrum. So President Biden's position is consistent with New Yorkers position, consistent with the siena poll position, consistent with my position.

Cuomo reiterated he is not going to resign.

"Find out the facts, and we will take it from there," he said.

Biden also said if Cuomo is found guilty, "I think he'll probably end up being prosecuted, too."

"If you committed a crime, you can be prosecuted, that's true, but what President Biden said was, we should do an investigation," Cuomo said. "The question to President Biden starts with, 'Do you think the governor should resign or do you think should there a review first?' And the president said, 'There should be a review.'"

RELATED: Schumer, Gillibrand, join Dems in calling for Cuomo's resignation

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer repeated his call Tuesday for the governor to step down, saying Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners.

Also, state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins reiterated her stance that Governor Cuomo should resign, but she said she would continue to work with him in the meantime.

"The governor is well-known for being who he is, and making sure that you know exactly what he feels," she said. "So this Andrew Cuomo is certainly somebody who I have met. But as I said, I don't get bullied."

Seven women have accused the governor of some form of sexual harassment or inappropriate touching.

RELATED: With Gov. Cuomo under fire, No. 2 Kathy Hochul treads carefully


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* Follow us on YouTube

* More local news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts Submit a News Tip