Ex-aide sues NY AG Letitia James over alleged sexual harassment cover-up

A former assistant sued New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday for allegedly covering up sexual harassment and assault by her ex-chief of staff Ibrahim Khan – who “poked his tongue down the victim’s throat,” new court filings show.

Sofia Quintanar, 33, alleges that Khan — who resigned after being slapped with multiple sexual harassment complaints — forcibly stuck his tongue in at a political fundraiser in Brooklyn on Nov. 17, 2021, according to her lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court shoved down her throat.

She accuses the AG office of covering up allegations against Khan – James’ chief of staff for 10 years – and making “misleading statements to the press” that “he was on holiday or with a sick relative” when he was actually was suspended for two months pending investigation of the claims.

The complaints were filed ahead of Election Day and were silenced as James drove to victory, sources previously told the Post.

After the investigation, the AG’s office concluded on December 2 that Khan was involved in sexual harassment and misconduct involving two former employees.

Nonetheless, Khan was allowed to resign before the investigation was completed on November 22, with a full payment until the end of the year and without comment on the allegations.

Quintanar claims James stopped the news of an investigation and the allegations from getting out.
Sofia Quintanar sued New York Attorney General Letitia James Thursday for allegedly covering up sexual harassment and assault.
@sofia.quintanar1

Quintanar only learned “from press reports that Attorney General James Khan allowed the resignation without officially disclosing the reasons for his resignation,” according to the lawsuit.

She is suing the AG, James and Khan’s campaign for unspecified damages. The lawsuits against James, her office and her campaign include negligence, discrimination and retaliation.

According to the lawsuit, Quintanar alleges that James and the Bureau should have protected her and that they were negligent in hiring and supervising Khan.

The lawsuit says James also allowed a press office MP to quietly resign “in similar circumstances” in 2019.

Quintanar was hired as an assistant press secretary for the AG office in 2020 and transitioned to work for Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown when he ran for re-election in July 2021.

But by the time Brown was successfully re-elected, Quintanar was on the hunt for a new job, leading her to attend the fundraiser where the alleged attack took place.

Quintanar says this is a pattern in James' behavior.
Quintanar claims that James and the Bureau should have protected them and that they were negligent in hiring and monitoring Ibrahim Khan.
Paul Martinka for the NY Post

When Quintanar first saw Khan things were amicable and he bought her and a pal drinks, the suit claims. But then Khan lured Quintanar outside under the pretext that it was too loud in the hall, court documents say.

Once outside, Khan “placed the weight of his hand on Quintanar’s shoulder and aggressively pushed his face forward to kiss her without saying a word,” the suit reads.

“Then he stuck his tongue down her throat, still holding her shoulder.”

A “stupefied” Quintanar pushed him away and asked, “Aren’t you married?” “Don’t you have any children?” and what are you doing?” the suit claims.

She stepped back when Khan tried to kiss her again, the lawsuit says.

Quintanar found her friend inside and the two tried to avoid Khan as he “continued to follow” them until she finally left the event, the newspapers claim.

Quintanar says she did not speak up until this fall because she feared it would damage her career given “Khan’s notoriety and power in New York Democratic politics,” according to the lawsuit.

But over time, she found out that another former employee had accused him of sexual assault in 2017, court records say.

In October, Quintanar told an investigator at the AG’s office about her claims and waited all fall to eagerly await the results of the investigation, only to find out that the AG’s office allowed him to resign and issue a public statement “stating that he Lap of honor for his working hours” for the AG, the lawsuit claims.

Khan is on the AG payroll until the end of the year.
Ibrahim Khan is accused of kissing a former employee without her consent.
Attorney General of New York State

Quintanar said in a statement she hopes her coming will help women of color gain a voice in the #MeToo movement.

“While I fear the impact this may have on my career, I know that fear should never stand in the way of doing the right thing,” Quintanar said in a statement. “I hope I can give other survivors the courage to find their voices and hold those in positions of power accountable for their actions as they show a belief that they are above the law.”

Their lawyers Douglas Wigdor and Valdi Licul said: “This case is not about politics. It is about abuse of power, lack of proper oversight and defending Ms Quintanar’s rights.

“We will leave no stone unturned in our quest for justice and accountability.”

A AG spokesman said: “We took the allegations made in our office seriously and acted decisively, quickly and appropriately.”

Khan did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/15/ex-aide-sues-ny-ag-letitia-james-over-alleged-sexual-harassment-cover-up/ Ex-aide sues NY AG Letitia James over alleged sexual harassment cover-up

JACLYN DIAZ

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