The rising questions over James’ dealing with of the case come after she was reelected to a second time period Nov. 8 and after her damning report in August 2021 over sexual harassment complaints in opposition to then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his workplace’s dealing with of them led to his resignation.
James’ workplace confirmed Dec. 2 that Khan resigned following an investigation right into a handful of sexual harassment allegations in opposition to him. The workplace didn’t element the state of affairs till days later, saying solely “an impartial, neutral investigation was carried out, and the worker has since resigned.”
Quintanar, who labored for James as a deputy press secretary till 2021, stated that she bumped into Khan at a fundraiser in November of that yr, after she had left the workplace. Quintanar instructed the Occasions that “Khan pulled her shut and ‘caught his tongue down my throat’” when the 2 have been alone exterior the venue. She stated she had instructed a small handful of individuals, and one other girl started crying as she confirmed comparable experiences with Khan.
The Sexual Harassment Working Group, a coalition of former legislative staffers that has efficiently pushed for extra protections for survivors of harassment, can be criticizing the dealing with of the occasions. The group applauded the Lawyer Common’s Workplace’s actions towards a immediate investigation, however stated the “lack of preliminary transparency” because the information of Khan’s resignation broke “is a failure of communication.”
“We anticipate the Lawyer Common’s workplace to deal with complaints appropriately and talk successfully in regards to the newest investigation,” the group stated in a Tuesday assertion. “As soon as an investigation is concluded, the general public is owed a full accounting of the phrases and timeline of occasions and the findings, save for private particulars to guard the victims’ privateness and dignity. “
James launched her first official touch upon Khan on Wednesday quickly earlier than the Occasions story posted on-line. She thanked the ladies who got here ahead and stated, “I wish to guarantee them that they have been heard and that I imagine them.”
She additionally defended the actions her workplace took.
“My workplace handled this matter as aggressively as each different matter that has come earlier than our workplace,” she stated. “Inside 24 hours, our workplace took disciplinary motion and put Ibrahim Khan below restrictions, and inside 72 hours, we engaged an outdoor regulation agency that started an neutral and exhaustive evaluate of the allegations. Mr. Khan resigned whereas the method was nonetheless ongoing. When the method concluded, my workplace spoke with every particular person and knowledgeable them that allegations have been substantiated. I’m assured within the steps that have been taken to swiftly evaluate the allegations and within the integrity of the investigation.”
On Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul expressed confidence within the steps James took when requested in regards to the ethics of what sort of particulars she shared with the general public and when.
“I’m not going to conjecture on what’s on folks’s minds and what their motivations are,” she instructed reporters after an unrelated occasion.
“I’m merely saying that there’s quite a bit… the state of affairs just isn’t very clear, but it surely appears to me — based mostly on public reviews, which is all I do know — is that steps have been taken to research this and pursue this and the particular person is not within the place they have been as soon as in.”
Shannon Younger contributed to this report.