October 16, 2021

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The Passionate Pursuit of Law

Cuomo lawful woes go on, could cost public at least US$9.5M

ALBANY, N.Y. —
Resigning from office almost certainly failed to finish previous Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s authorized difficulties, and no make a difference what takes place up coming, taxpayers are probably to wind up with a significant invoice.

The condition has presently agreed to pay out up to US$9.5 million to attorneys representing and investigating Cuomo and his administration in excess of sexual harassment allegations and other issues, according to The Involved Press’ evaluate of accessible contracts.

That figure — which represents the greatest total that could be put in, not real charges submitted so far — includes up to $5 million for attorneys who have represented Cuomo’s business office, up to $3.5 million for lawyers hired by the state lawyer normal to examine sexual harassment allegations versus the Democrat, and at the very least $1 million in bills for lawyers hired by the legislature as component of an impeachment investigation. It isn’t going to consist of the authorized charges of Cuomo’s personal legal professional, Rita Glavin, whose charges are staying compensated by his marketing campaign committee.

Cuomo’s successor, Gov. Kathy Hochul, can come to a decision whether the condition will proceed to fork out lawyers to defend the former governor and his administration going ahead.

Cuomo, a Democrat, and his administration experience the risk of civil lawsuits from girls who have accused him of sexual harassment. The Albany sheriff is investigating a groping allegation. The condition attorney basic is seeking into Cuomo’s use of condition workforce to assistance with a ebook he wrote. Federal prosecutors are investigating his administration’s dealing with of nursing dwelling loss of life details. He’s also going through a condition ethics fee inquiry.

“We will be examining all lawful contracts and creating suitable choices on the require for authorized illustration and regardless of whether to carry on any contracts,” Hochul’s spokesperson, Haley Viccaro, reported.

Cuomo resigned from business adhering to an investigation overseen by Attorney Common Letitia James that concluded he sexually harassed 11 girls. Cuomo — who denies touching anyone inappropriately or intending to make suggestive responses — accused the ladies of exaggerating or misinterpreting his behavior.

At minimum one particular girl, Lindsey Boylan, has stated she intends to sue the ex-governor “and his co-conspirators” about their perform. The investigation found Cuomo aides retaliated versus Boylan. The former senior aide testified Cuomo touched her waist, legs and back again, manufactured inappropriate responses contacting her desirable, proposed they participate in strip poker on a aircraft, and when gave her an unwanted kiss on the lips.

Other suits seem likely.

An lawyer for an additional accuser, Charlotte Bennett, who stated Cuomo questioned issues about her particular life that led her to believe he was pursuing a sexual partnership with her, suggested the point out has an obligation to compensate the girls in get to keep away from “highly-priced and prolonged” litigation.

“I believe that if there is heading to be any kind of ideal summary to this, it has to be to make the victims of his misconduct full,” Debra Katz, attorney for former Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett, claimed.

If Cuomo or the point out is sued about his alleged perform, the general public could wind up covering lawful expenses and any settlement — commonly, people sued about their perform as condition employees are defended on the state’s dime.

Cuomo, nevertheless, could also face particular person legal responsibility if a court concludes he did a little something wrong.

As governor, he signed a regulation that obligates point out staff members who dedicate sexual harassment on the task to reimburse the condition for any judgements compensated out for the reason that of their wrongdoing.

The legal professional general’s business might perform a part in deciding no matter whether to deal with Cuomo’s legal costs, explained Andrew Celli, who was a previous civil legal rights bureau main in the office below then-Legal professional Normal Eliot Spitzer.

“Whatsoever he does in his upcoming daily life, he needs to be in a position to pay back those people attorneys and direct them and it really is likely to be costly and time-consuming,” Celli said.

Cuomo could also likely dip into his $18 million campaign war upper body to pay back authorized fees, such as a judgment.

“If a personal man or woman sues him and it relates to his general public business office or his former campaigns, then he can use marketing campaign funds to pay legal professionals,” veteran elections law firm Jerry Goldfeder, former Special Counsel for Public Integrity to then-Legal professional Common Cuomo, mentioned.

If Cuomo winds up facing legal costs above a groping allegation created by a former aide, he would probable have to pay back for his individual defense lawyer. But under point out regulation, he could search for reimbursement from the state if he ended up to be acquitted on the grounds that the allegations experienced to do with his occupation.

That’s what transpired right after previous point out Senate Greater part Chief Joseph Bruno’s acquittal in a fraud demo. The point out reimbursed Bruno for $2.4 million in legal expenses that were initially compensated for by his marketing campaign.