Lindsey Boylan, the first woman to accuse Governor Cuomo of sexual harassment, said Wednesday that she wouldn’t participate in the impeachment inquiry led by the State Assembly, calling it a “sham.”
In a series of tweets, the former Cuomo aide cast doubt on the investigation started by State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, raising concerns about its independence.
“What would be the point of survivors talking to investigators of your sham investigation @CarlHeastie? I am in conversation with other women who have no interest in your corrupt, cynical ‘investigation.’ Hard pass,” Boylan wrote in a tweet.
Earlier on Wednesday, Heastie and Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Lavine announced that Davis Polk and Wardell LLP, a New York–based law firm, had been hired to lead the impeachment investigation. The firm’s hiring has prompted some criticism because of a potential conflict of interest.
If an impeachment trial were to convene, state Senate laws decree that “The court for the trial of impeachments shall be composed of the president of the Senate, the senators, or the major part of them, and the judges of the court of appeals, or the major part of them.”
The current chief judge on the Court of Appeals, Janet DiFiore, is married to Dennis Glazer, who previously worked for Davis Polk. DiFiore was nominated to that position by Cuomo in 2015.
Debra Katz, the lawyer for Charlotte Bennett, another Cuomo accuser, said in a statement that Boylan retweeted, “We were alarmed to learn that Speaker Heastie has hired Davis Polk to assist with the investigation, given the connection between Dennis Glazer, who spent more than 30 years as a partner at Davis Polk, and the Governor. This is an unacceptable conflict of interest.”
She added, “While Ms. Bennett is committed to cooperating with all appropriate governmental inquiries, including the impeachment investigation, the involvement of Davis Polk gives her pause.”
The New York State Office of Court Administration said in a statement, “Davis Polk is a large multinational law firm with hundreds of employees and thousands of clients. The Chief Judge has neither any connection to the firm nor was involved with its choice by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.”
Attorney General Letitia James is currently running an investigation of her own into accusations of misconduct against Cuomo. One significant difference between the two inquiries is that the attorney general will be largely focused on the accusations of harassment while the legislature will also investigate the mishandling of COVID-19 nursing-home data and how the state dealt with structural issues on the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.
Katz previously said that Bennett spoke with investigators from the attorney general’s office about her allegations for four hours.
Boylan’s lawyer, Jill Basinger, said in an email to the New York Post that her client was “fully cooperating” with the AG’s investigation and was interviewed “last weekend” by investigators from James’s office.
“It is clear from the interview that the investigators are moving expeditiously and taking their work seriously,” Basinger said in the email.