The Albany County sheriff said Saturday that he couldn’t give a timeline for his office’s investigation into a criminal complaint accusing Gov. Andrew Cuomo of groping an aide, but he said the probe would be “comprehensive” and that the governor could potentially face misdemeanor charges.
“This is obviously a very high-profile investigation,” Sheriff Craig Apple said at a news conference. “There’s a lot of information out there. We have a lot of fact-finding to do, we have a lot of interviews to do. We’re going to conduct a very comprehensive investigation, as my investigators and my staff always do, and when the data and the facts are compiled, we’ll make a decision at that point.”
The sheriff said Cuomo could potentially face a misdemeanor charge, or “possibly a couple,” if the investigation were to lead to that.
Apple said it would be “very premature” to say if the governor would be questioned but that “obviously” the investigation “could lead to an arrest” and that his agency “would be effecting that arrest.”
The sheriff said he has spoken with Albany County District Attorney David Soares and hopes to meet with him again in the coming days. He said he will likely have the aide come in for a series of interviews at some point, but also stressed, “The last thing we want to do is to continue to re-victimize these victims and have them tell their story over and over again.”
Apple declined to release the complaint but described the allegation as “sexual in nature.” He said his office has a “proven record” of helping victims, adding he does not fear retaliation for moving forward with such a high-profile investigation.
“I’m the county sheriff. I’m not going to be intimidated. I’m not going to be coerced,” he said. “That would not play out well for anybody.”