NYAG James Called Out for Covering Up Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Her Chief of Staff
By: Benyamin Davidsons
New York Attorney General Letitia James is being accused of covering up sexual harassment allegations against her own chief of staff.
The AG has earned a reputation as a hard-liner who will fiercely go after allegations against political leaders. As reported by the NY Post, she is now being called out for brushing harassment claims under the table, when it was dealing to her own allies, in a bid to pursue her political aspirations. The rep for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo has charged that though James viciously went after Cuomo, she kept things quiet in regards to her chief of staff, Ibrahim Khan, 38.
On Friday, the AG’s office confirmed that Khan resigned after being hit with multiple sexual harassment complaints. The AG was “actively lying” about her probe of Khan, insisted Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi, who said “by her own definition” Khan faced serious allegations. “This is more proof that Tish James has corrupted the AG’s office, abusing power to further her own political ambitions through a sham report,” Azzopardi said in a statement to The Post Saturday. “She ‘believes all women’ when it’s in her political interest — otherwise, she attacks the accuser or covers up the complaint.” It was essentially James’ sexual harassment probe against Cuomo that had forced the former governor to step down in disgrace. In September, Cuomo filed an ethics complaint against James.
As per the Post, Khan had complaints filed against him by two women just before Election Day. The whole thing was kept under wraps while James won her re-election bid. Since then, one of the accusing women’s claims of unwanted touching and kissing have been substantiated, as per the NY Times. Khan has worked for James since 2013, when he served as her top adviser during her first successful campaign for NYC public advocate.
He was later promoted to be named her chief of staff and first deputy public advocate. Khan stepped down on Friday, and what she called an “impartial investigation” was initiated. “The Office of Attorney General has protocols in place to thoroughly investigate any allegation of misconduct. The office takes these matters with the utmost seriousness and this situation is no different. An independent, impartial investigation was conducted, and the employee has since resigned,” said AG spokeswoman Delaney Kempner in a statement.
Sources told the Post that the probe is now being reviewed by law firm Littler Mendelson– a company hired by the AG’s office shortly after the complaints were received. In September that law firm hired Johane Severin, an assistant attorney general and longtime top legal aid for James. On Saturday, the comptroller’s Office said it didn’t approve any contracts as required to investigate the allegations against Khan, leaving doubts about the legitimacy of the firm’s contract. A spokesperson for the AG commented to say: “Littler Mendelson is one of the most highly respected employment firms in the country. Suggesting otherwise is absurd.” He declined to respond to additional questions, including whether Severin would be working on Khan’s case.