Kathy Hochul dismisses investigation into Letitia James’ handling of Khan’s sexual harassment claims

Gov. Kathy Hochul is not backing calls for an investigation into the New York Attorney General’s handling of sexual harassment allegations against her top aide Ibrahim Khan, despite allegations that AG Letitia James was in the news for two months when she ran for re-election .

“We must clearly condemn sexual harassment wherever it occurs, there must be accountability, and to my knowledge steps have been taken in that direction,” Hochul told reporters in Manhattan on Wednesday.

Hochul added she would not speculate as to why James, the state’s top law enforcement official, remained silent on the brewery scandal ahead of her 53% to 44.5% win over Republican Michael Henry last month.

Her comments came just hours before former AG employee Sofia Quintanar first came forward and detailed how Khan had reportedly molested her.

“I just find it appalling to see the bureau dealing with this publicly,” the 33-year-old quintanar told the New York Times.

Khan resigned as James’ chief of staff last week after an outside law firm hired by James concluded he had sexually harassed a former attorney general’s clerk whose office claimed she had followed due process.

But a growing list of Republicans are calling for an investigation, whether by the Legislature or a special attorney appointed by Hochul, to investigate whether James allowed sexual harassment to thrive under their noses.

James is in a car with the door open
James has defended her handling of sexual harassment allegations against Khan.
Paul Martinka

“It calls into question her suitability for the job,” said Senator Thomas O’Mara (R-Elmira).

“The Albany Swamp is as noxious as ever. New Yorkers have a right to know whether the state’s top law enforcement official alleged sexual harassment, covered it up, or delayed addressing it in order to win an election,” said Rep. Kieran Michael Lalor (R-Fishkill).

Documents released by James’ office this week confirm that she was aware of the allegations against Khan as of October 2.

He began working remotely the next day before officially quitting his job on November 22 – two weeks after James won re-election in the race that was closer than expected.

James claimed she buried the allegations ahead of the election out of deference to the women who accused Khan of misconduct in their first public statements since his ouster.

“It was a private investigation and it’s important that we protect the privacy of individuals,” she said when confronted by a Post reporter Wednesday morning.

However, critics wonder if James intentionally ignored the misconduct of her trusted lieutenant, who began working for James while she was serving as a public attorney in New York City.

“Apparently, the attorney general’s office was investigating the governor for the same crimes committed in her own office. It’s hard to get that level of hypocrisy,” Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay (R-Pulaski) said Monday of her bombshell 2021 report of alleged sexual misconduct by disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Hochul stands on a podium
Some Republicans say Hochul should appoint a special prosecutor to prove the scandal.
Mike Groll/Governor’s Office Ka

James claimed on Wednesday that Khan’s investigation required greater secrecy because it was a workplace investigation and not a public inquiry by an elected official that had to be sanctioned by the governor’s office.

“We are protecting the rights of individuals and it is important to understand that this was a private investigation, separate and independent from the investigation we conducted into the former governor – which was a regulatory investigation and a legitimate referral investigation.” was.” She said.

A previous sexual assault allegation against Khan – who has denied any wrongdoing – suggests a history of wrongdoing well before the 2022 election cycle.

Angel DuBose has claimed Khan drugged and sexually assaulted her during a December 2014 Christmas party in Manhattan from James’ office while they worked at the Office of the Public Advocate, The Post exclusively revealed in 2017.

His accuser told a supervisor about the incident in January 2015 and filed a complaint with the state Department of Human Rights, but prosecutors eventually declined to press charges.

Khan looks into the camera
Khan has denied the allegations of sexual harassment.

The city’s Department of Investigations reportedly “reviewed and closed this matter” and questions about whether DuBose had specifically named Khan as her attacker prompted The Post to remove the article from its website.

That incident and recent allegations of sexual harassment against Khan have prompted calls for an investigation, but Hochul on Wednesday expressed satisfaction with how James has been handling everything, based on details released by the media over the past week.

“Much of the situation is not very clear, but it seems to me, based on public reports from all I know, that steps have been taken to investigate and follow up and the person is no longer in a position to she was once in,” Hochul said.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/07/kathy-hochul-rejects-probe-of-letitia-james-handling-of-khan-sexual-harass-claims/ Kathy Hochul dismisses investigation into Letitia James’ handling of Khan’s sexual harassment claims

JACLYN DIAZ

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