Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo through his attorney Saturday asked the Albany County sheriff to “preserve all records” related to the investigation that led to Cuomo’s misdemeanor charge of forcible touching.
A city court in Albany, the state capital, this week issued a summons charging Cuomo after a criminal complaint was filed by Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.
Cuomo has claimed that the charge that he groped Brittany Commisso, a former staffer, at the governor’s mansion last year was based on flimsy evidence and was politically motivated.
“We expect you to preserve everything relating to your investigation and have set forth below a non-exhaustive list of specific categories for which we request preservation,” Cuomo attorney Rita Glavin wrote, according to the Albany Times-Union. “First, we request that you preserve all records relating to your and your office’s communications with Brittany Commisso and her attorney, including but not limited to phone records, text messages, email and any other electronic communications, notes, memoranda, recordings, and calendar entries.”
A preservation request is a standard legal move. Criminal defendants are entitled to a broad scope of evidence and other material related to an investigation, which is typically turned over before trial.
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi called the sheriff’s charges an “abuse of power.”
“In an attempt to deflect from his bizarre and unprofessional rouge investigation… Albany Sheriff Craig Apple claimed there was an ‘overwhelming amount of evidence’ gathered in this case …What did occur was a clear abuse of power by the Sheriff and we plan to get to the bottom of it,” he said, the Times-Union reported.
At a news conference Friday, Apple said he was confident in the strength of the case and insisted politics played no role. He also called the governor’s operatives “bullies.”
Cuomo resigned in August after an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James found he had sexually harassed 11 women, including Commisso.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.