Confronted by The Post on Wednesday, embattled New York Attorney General Letitia James spoke for the first time about the sexual harassment scandal that has engulfed her office.
James denied to a Post reporter that she hid sexual harassment complaints against her chief of staff to win re-election – and claimed she was protecting “the rights” of his accusers.
And the powerful AG – under fire for burying the case despite leading the sexual harassment probe that coerced the ex-gov. Andrew Cuomo, who left office last year – insisted the cover-up of her investigation into longtime adviser Ibrahim Khan was “in no way” linked to her race for a second term.
“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.” James told the Post Wednesday before her brownstone brownstone.
The Post also asked James why she hadn’t told police officers about the allegations against Khan, which reportedly include inappropriate touching and unwanted kissing.
“It was a private investigation and it’s important that we protect the privacy of individuals,” she said.
James’ comments marked the first time she spoke publicly about the scandal.
When asked if she would share anything with the public about Khan’s alleged behavior and the safety of her employees, James said, “We’re trying to keep it private.”
James, a Democrat, refused to debate Republican challenger Michael Henry after the allegations against Khan, which her office said she learned about Oct. 2. On Tuesday, Henry told the Post that Khan’s resignation, first reported on Friday by The New York Times, made clear why James “spent weeks in hiding.”
“Now we all know that she probably feared that the sexual harassment scandal she worked so hard to cover up would somehow come to light,” he said.
“It’s a shame.”
Veteran Democratic political adviser Hank Sheinkopf agreed this week that the Khan scandal “is very damaging to the attorney general because of the time lag.”
“James didn’t debate her opponent before the election, and that might be why,” Sheinkopf noted.
“It’s important to understand that we protect victims, we believe victims and we believe women, and we do a thorough investigation, and that’s what we did,” James said.
“And it is important that you also understand the difference between this private EEO [equal employment opportunity] investigation and a referral from the governor’s office, which essentially consisted of a recommendation that a public report be issued.”
James added of the accusers: “The individuals were not part of our office.”
James is facing mounting criticism and is calling for an investigation into her handling of Khan’s case, with even veteran Democratic agent Sheinkopf saying an independent investigation is needed.
“There should be an external investigation into this case and its handling. Otherwise, people will question the Attorney General’s integrity,” Sheinkopf said Tuesday.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/07/ny-ag-letitia-james-addresses-ibrahim-khans-sex-harass-scandal/ NY AG Letitia James addresses Ibrahim Khan harassment scandal