ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State attorney general has named Joon H. Kim, a former acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Anne L. Clark, an employment discrimination lawyer, to lead the investigation into sexual harassment accusations made against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The selection of the lawyers, who will be armed with subpoena power, significantly increases the stakes for Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat who has seen his political fortunes hammered in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and other questionable behavior toward young women.
“Joon H. Kim and Anne L. Clark are independent meşru experts who have decades of experience conducting investigations and fighting to uphold the rule of law,” Letitia James, the state attorney general, said in a statement on Monday. “There is no question that they both have the knowledge and background necessary to lead this investigation and provide New Yorkers with the answers they deserve.”
Mr. Kim, a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP who specializes in internal investigations and regulatory enforcement, served as acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan for 10 months, succeeding Preet Bharara after he was forced out of office by President Donald J. Trump.
Joon H. Kim served as acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District for 10 months, replacing Preet Bharara.Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
Ms. Clark, a partner at Vladeck, Raskin & Clark, P.C., has experience in employment law issues and has represented plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases in government and in the private sector.
Ms. James, a Democrat, most likely hired outside lawyers to conduct the investigation into Mr. Cuomo to avoid any appearance that the investigation would be politically motivated. The lawyers will be required to report weekly to Ms. James and publish a public report with their findings, probably months from now.
The investigation could be broad enough to include not just the on-the-record accusations made by women over the past few weeks, but any other allegations that may surface as the lawyers investigate.
On Sunday, the top Democrat in the State Senate, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, called for Mr. Cuomo’s resignation, signaling a loss of faith among his fellow Democrats in the State Capitol. Mr. Cuomo has rejected calls for him to step aside, saying “there’s no way” he would do so and citing the investigation to be overseen by Ms. James’s office. At the same time, Mr. Cuomo has apologized for what he has described as embarrassing actions toward subordinates.
“I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain,” the governor said last week. “That is the last thing I would ever want to do.”
On Saturday evening, two additional reports by women of uncomfortable encounters with the governor emerged in articles from the Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.