AG extending contracts of team investigating Cuomo

Bizar Male

ALBANY – State Attorney General Letitia James’ office is extending its contracts with two outside law firms investigating sexual misconduct allegations against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Citing unnamed sources, Spectrum News reported that James’ office is extending the contracts until late December. The agreements had been set to expire on Sept. 7.

Spectrum reported that the contract extensions do not signal a report concerning the allegations against Cuomo will be delayed until December. Instead, the extension may be necessary for the outside investigators to work with the Assembly Judiciary Committee, which is conducting a separate impeachment investigation of Cuomo involving some of the same matters.

James’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cuomo met with the attorney general’s investigators for an interview on July 17, sparking speculation that the inquiry could be reaching its conclusion. 

The outside investigators retained by James’ office are Joon Kim, a former acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan, and Anne Clark, an employment lawyer.

Accusations against Cuomo began to accumulate in early March, when the governor made a formal referral empowering James’ office to investigate the allegations. At the time, Cuomo stated that he had faith in that process. In recent weeks, however, Cuomo has begun suggesting that the outside investigators have political biases, and his spokesman has argued that James is motivated by a potential gubernatorial bid next year. James has not publicly expressed interest in running for governor, and Cuomo’s office hasn’t provided evidence that she intends to do so, or is considering it.

If the release of the report is delayed, that could complicate any number of Democratic politicians’ political plans: The report could have a major impact on whether Cuomo remains viable in 2022, and a delay would shrink the political calendar. The Democratic primary is scheduled for June.

The current contract for Kim’s law firm is worth up to $2.55 million, while the contract for Clark is worth up to $950,000.

Meanwhile, taxpayer-funded legal bills are continuing to pile up for Cuomo’s office, as well — and not just in relation to the sexual misconduct allegations.

Walden Macht, which was retained to represent the Executive Chamber in response to an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo, will be paid up to $2.5 million, according to, a website maintained by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office.

Morvillo Abramowtiz, the law firm representing Cuomo’s office in response to a federal investigation into the suppression of nursing home death data, will also be paid up to $2.5 million. 

And New York Law Journal reported that another law firm, Fried Frank, will be paid up to $1.5 million by the state Department of Health. The contract reportedly states that the law firm is responding to investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney’s office, and the attorney general’s office, among others. 

It’s unclear what the Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating; its interest in the Department of Health was previously publicly unknown.

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