Internal documents released Monday night by Attorney General Letitia James’ office confirmed she was aware of the sexual harassment allegations made against a longtime top adviser more than a month before Election Day, but chose not to to keep under wraps before voters went the polls.
James and her office first learned that Chief of Staff Ibrahim Khan, 38, was facing complaints of sexual harassment from two women on Oct. 2 — well ahead of the Nov. 8 election date in New York, according to documents showing the provided a damn timetable for the scandal.
The day after, the attorney general’s office ordered Khan to switch to remote work and stop communicating with colleagues and others close to James, according to the email from Serena Longley, James’ assistant general counsel.
In the Oct. 3 email, Attorney General Larry Schimmel’s general counsel urged Khan to “stay away from his position” and “not to meet with OAG employees or anyone associated with the AG in any way.” “.
Longley told reporters Monday night that Khan had been ordered not to fraternize with the Democrat allies “during investigations” by outside law firm Littler Mendelson hired by the AG’s office.
A source briefed on the investigation previously told the Post that none of the allegations involved current employees.
“They really tried to keep this a secret ahead of the election,” the source said.
According to a copy of the letter, Khan handed in his resignation on Nov. 22 and stopped working with James’ office on Friday — the same day the New York Times reported that Littler Mendelson backed allegations of his unwanted kissing and touching .
James has yet to comment publicly on Khan’s resignation, though her office claims she followed proper procedures with the counselor, whose ties to her date back to her days as New York City’s public attorney.
“The Attorney General’s Office maintains protocols to thoroughly investigate any allegation of wrongdoing. The Office takes these matters with the utmost seriousness and this situation is no different. An independent, impartial investigation was conducted and the employee has since resigned,” AG spokeswoman Delaney Kempner said earlier on the matter.
Several Republicans are calling for an investigation into James’ decision to keep her co-worker’s sexual harassment complaints secret until she wins her re-election bid.
“The Albany Swamp is as noxious as ever,” said Rep. Kieran Michael Lalor (R-Fishkill). “New Yorkers have a right to know if the state’s top law enforcement official has alleged, covered up, or delayed addressing sexual harassment in order to win an election.”
“This cannot wait until the state parliament meets again in January. The State Assembly Judiciary Committee must immediately convene a formal inquiry into what Attorney General James knew, when she knew, and why that information was withheld,” MP Colin Schmitt (R-New Windsor) said Sunday.
State Republicans also raised concerns that Littler Mendelson, who was tasked with investigating allegations against Khan on Oct. 4, employs a former assistant attorney general.
Longley said the AG’s office “took extra precautions to ensure a fair, impartial and thorough review by engaging an outside firm,” adding that “the investigative team did not include any former members of the OAG.”
A spokesman for Littler Mendelson said her attorney, who previously worked for the attorney general’s office, “was not involved in this matter that came to Littler and was not involved in the investigation.”
The lawyer only learned about the investigation after reading the Times article published on December 2.
“To ensure the independence of his investigation, at the time Littler was retained by the OAG, the firm established an ethical wall between the attorneys and associates handling the matter and all of Littler’s other attorneys and associates,” he said Speaker.
Khan is a long-time associate of James, initially serving as a top advisor for her successful New York City Public Advocate campaign in 2013. After the victory, she appointed him her chief of staff and first assistant public counsel.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/06/docs-confirm-ag-letitia-james-knew-about-top-aide-ibrahim-khans-sexual-harassment-claims-before-election/ Documents confirm AG Letitia James was aware of top adviser Ibrahim Khan’s allegations of sexual harassment prior to the election