New York State Attorney General Letitia James has said that taxpayers shouldn’t be responsible for covering the costs of Cuomo allegedly sexually harassing women.
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Letitia James, claiming the Empire State’s top prosecutor failed to provide him with legal representation when he was taken to court over a sexual harassment claim.
James has since responded to the lawsuit, stating that New York taxpayers should not have to pay for a big-name politician to address sexual harassment claims.
“Sexually harassing young women who work for you is not part of anyone’s job description,” a spokesperson for James said in a statement to The New York Daily News. “Taxpayers should not have to pony up for legal bills that could reach into the millions of dollars so Mr. Cuomo’s lawyer can attack survivors of his abuse.”
According to court documents filed earlier this week, Cuomo says that New York should cover his legal costs because the alleged sexual harassment happened “while he was acting within the scope of his public employment and duties.”
Cuomo says that James wrongfully denied his requests for counsel, alleging that the attorney general’s decision was “arbitrary, capricious, contrary to the plain text of the statute, biased, personally and politically conflicted.”
According to Fox News, Cuomo is being sued by an unnamed New York state trooper who said that the former Democratic governor touched her inappropriately and repeatedly made flirtatious comments after having specifically requested that she be transferred to his personal security detail.
The trooper, says Fox News, is seeking damages for “severe mental anguish and emotional distress.”
Cuomo has long maintained his innocence.
However, and in spite of prosecutors’ decision to not bring charges against Cuomo, numerous other women have come forward, saying that the former governor sexually harassed them, too.
To date, an estimated dozen women have come forward with assorted claims against Cuomo.
James’s office is now publicly pushing back against Cuomo’s assertion that he should have been entitled to a state-funded defense, saying that the politician is “trying to force New Yorkers to pay his legal bills because he believes sexual harassment was within his ‘scope of employment’ as governor.”
A spokesperson for Cuomo, Rich Azzopardi, said that James’s office is simply trying to play “political games” to escape financial liability and win points with the public.
“The report has been reviewed by five separate district attorneys and every single one has declined to move forward based on it—it was nothing more than a political document and holds no legal weight,” Azzopardi said.