A top lawyer to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a key figure in the inquiry into the governor’s alleged sexual misconduct is set to resign next week, officials said.
The departure of Special Counsel Judith Mogul would come just two weeks after Cuomo was apparently questioned by the state’s top lawyer about widespread accusations of sexual harassment that began to be publicized late last year.
One of the Democrat’s accusers — former aid Charlotte Bennett, 26 — said that she complained to Mogul and then-chief of staff Jill DesRosiers last summer about alleged harassment by Cuomo and was told by unnamed officials there was no need to investigate because the governor’s conduct never got past the “grooming” stage.
The former aid alleged that the governor tasked her with “finding” the 63-year-old a girlfriend, and asking her if she had sex with older men, charges the governor denied.
Bennett said she was transferred to another position in the Capitol building after she complained to Mogul and DesRosiers about the alleged harassment and provided a detailed statement.
Her lawyer, Debra Katz, later accused the retiring lawyer of mishandling the situation, writing in a March letter to the AG that the Executive Chamber failed to “adequately address Ms. Bennett’s allegations” and alleging “the chief of staff and special counsel exploited Charlotte’s fear and manipulated her.”
Ten other women have publicly accused Cuomo of misconduct, and the alleged sexual harassment is being probed by State Attorney General Letitia James and the State Assembly, which is conducting a wide-ranging impeachment inquiry.
A senior advisor to the three-term governor said Mogul’s departure was in the works for more than a year, and she will be replaced by newly appointed Special Counsel for Public Integrity Victor Olds
“Judy left a high profile career in the private sector – and before that as a Assistant US Attorney — to serve the people of the state of New York,” Richard Azzopardi told The Post in a statement.
“While she had previously planned to leave government in spring of 2020, she selflessly extended her state service for more than a year to help manage the pandemic – and we are grateful for that. Judy is a phenomenal lawyer, model public servant and friend and we wish her well in her next chapter.”
She notably worked to develop gun violence and pandemic response initiatives, Azzopardi said.
Mogul, 62, has already been interrogated about the alleged sexual misconduct and toxic workplace in the governor’s office, according to The New York Times.
The probe is being led by former Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim and Anne Clark, a leading employment lawyer.