Sheriff Vows Not to Be 'Intimidated' or 'Coerced' in Criminal Probe of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The sheriff of New York's Albany County vowed Saturday that he will not be "intimidated or coerced" as he moves forward with a criminal probe into an allegation that Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, sexually harassed a former executive assistant.

The woman, who has been identified only as "Executive Assistant #1," filed a criminal complaint against Cuomo at Albany County's Sheriff Office on Thursday alleging multiple instances of sexual harassment. The former aide to the three-term governor was one of the 11 women included in a blistering 165-page report released by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday, alleging numerous instances of sexual harassment by Cuomo.

During a Saturday press conference about the criminal complaint, Sheriff Craig Apple explained that the investigation was in its "infant stages," saying that the probe would not be rushed or delayed just because the allegations were against the state's governor.

Taking a question from a reporter, Camp asserted that Cuomo would not have any influence over the investigation.

"I'm the county sheriff. I'm not going to be intimidated. I'm not going to be coerced. That would not play out well for anybody," Apple said.

Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is under investigation by the Albany County Sheriff's Office after a former executive assistant filed a criminal complaint this week. In this photo, Cuomo declares a state of emergency due to the ongoing violence on July 6 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The state attorney general's report said that Cuomo and his staff retaliated against some of the women who came forward with allegations of sexual harassment. Reports have also circulated widely of alleged bullying from Cuomo and his top aides, as well as alleged efforts to coerce and threaten staff and New York state lawmakers if they opposed the governor.

"This is obviously a very high-profile investigation. There's a lot of information out there," Apple told reporters. "We have a lot of fact-finding to do. We have a lot of interviews to do and, you know what, I'm not going to rush it because of who he is and I'm not going to delay because of who he is. We're going to conduct a very comprehensive investigation, as my investigators and my staff always do."

In the report by James, the unidentified former Cuomo aide alleged that the governor's harassment "escalated" over time. She said that Cuomo's behavior included hugs, kisses on the cheek and at least one kiss on the mouth.

In a November 2020 incident, the governor allegedly "reached under her blouse and grabbed her breast," according to the report.

Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing, asserting that the report and the accusations are all politically motivated. But state and national Democratic leaders have called on the governor to resign; President Joe Biden urged the New York governor to step down after the report was released as well.

An impeachment investigation is also well underway in the New York State Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats.

Newsweek reached out to Cuomo's press office for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.