July 21, 2021
ALBANY, NY – Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D, Long Island) sent Governor Andrew Cuomo a letter today, telling the governor to stop publicly criticizing the State Attorney General Tish James. A.G. James’ office is in charge of investigating the allegations made against the governor, and Governor Cuomo’s top spokesperson Rich Azzorpardi, has been tweeting out statements that imply/accuse A.G. Tish James of trying to oust the governor, because she wants to run for office. “As chairman of the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee charged with the solemn responsibiltiy of conducting the impeachment investigation, I served formal written notice on you on March 15, 2021, expressly advising, ‘in so sensitive a matter, it is both obvious and imperitive that neither you nor anyone associated with you engage in intimidation, retaliation, or any attempt at intimidation or retailation against any complainant or any witness.
‘It is therefore difficult for me to comprehend your communications director tweeting that Attorney General James, whose office is conducting a parrallel investigation, says ‘she may run against the governor.’ It is obvious that any attempt to demean the attorney general serve as well to undermine the investigation and send profoundly negative signals to witnesses.”
The letter from Assemblyman Lavine goes on to say, that any such comments “may merit severe repercussions.”
Response So Far, From Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Chief Counsel, Beth Garvey:
“There is a clear difference between actionable retaliation and protected speech and it is clear that the Chairman doesn’t understand the difference. We will have a formal response forthcoming.”