Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is suing the state over legal fees in his sexual harassment case.
The New York Daily News reports the ex-governor filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday, exactly one year after he resigned from office, saying NYS Attorney General Letitia James wrongly rejected his request to have taxpayers cover the cost of his legal counsel in a federal claim filed by a female New York State Trooper who accused him of sexually harassing and inappropriately touching her.
According to the Times Union, AG James rejected Cuomo’s request for counsel in defense of the federal lawsuit without providing a reason. Cuomo’s lawyer Rita Glavin said that James’ denial was “arbitrary, capricious, contrary to the statute’s plain text, biased, personally and politically conflicted,” and a dereliction of duty.
The trooper’s federal lawsuit, filed under the pseudonym “Trooper 1,” named Cuomo along with New York State Police, former Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, and Cuomo’s longtime adviser and spokesman Richard Azzopardi. The trooper accused Cuomo of repeatedly touching her inappropriately and making suggestive comments when she was appointed to his protective detail.
Cuomo’s filing Wednesday argued that Cuomo is entitled to representation paid by the state since the alleged acts took place “while he was acting within the scope of his public employment and duties.”
Cuomo resigned as governor on Aug. 10, 2021, after an investigation overseen by James concluded he sexually harassed 11 women in the workplace, which he denied. Several district attorneys in New York said they found Cuomo’s accusers “credible,” but didn’t find the available evidence strong enough to press criminal charges against him.