ALBANY – An Albany felony court docket agreed Friday to drop a misdemeanor complaint of forcible touching against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The complaint, arising from allegations that Cuomo groped a former staffer, has been the one cost introduced against the former governor after a yr through which he confronted a protracted listing of accusations on a wide range of topics and resigned final August over the sexual harassment complaints.
Albany County District Lawyer David Soares introduced earlier this week that there was not sufficient proof to let him pursue the accusations past an affordable doubt. In a Friday continuing, Decide Holly Trexler didn’t object to his choice to drop it.
“The district lawyer’s workplace has unfettered discretion … to prosecute a selected case,” Trexler mentioned. “The courts could not and can’t intervene with the discretion of a district lawyer.”
The principally digital continuing itself was pretty anticlimactic.
Cuomo appeared on digicam for less than a second, when lawyer Rita Glavin panned the digicam to indicate that he was within the room together with her. He didn’t communicate.
Incapacity rights activist Michael Carey tried to ship a letter to Trexler asking her to pressure Soares to pursue the case; court docket officers didn’t let him ship the letter.
The case originated from allegations introduced by former gubernatorial staffer Brittany Commisso, who accused Cuomo of groping her within the Govt Mansion in 2020.
Soares has mentioned that whereas he discovered her credible and cooperative, there merely isn’t sufficient proof for him to maneuver ahead.
“Regulation enforcement businesses and law enforcement officials can act lawfully as soon as they discover possible trigger to consider that an occasion has occurred,” he mentioned in an everyday look on public radio station WAMC on Friday morning.
“That’s a really, very, very low burden. It’s a a lot totally different burden than the burden that prosecutors are held to, which is proof past an affordable doubt.”
Cuomo has denied he inappropriately touched Commiso, and Glavin praised the choice to drop the case.
“Because the governor has mentioned, this merely didn’t occur,” Glavin instructed reporters on a Zoom name.
Commisso’s allegations can nonetheless result in a civil motion.
And there are a number of different potential authorized actions which Cuomo nonetheless must deal with, together with makes an attempt by the state Joint Fee on Public Ethics to probably recoup the $5.1 million he was paid to write down his memoir on the pandemic.