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Sound Bites: Cuomo calls for probe into DOJ agreement with Hochul

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to board a helicopter after announcing his resignation.
Seth Wenig
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to board a helicopter after announcing his resignation.

Good morning. Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants an investigation into an agreement between the Department of Justice and the Hochul administration in connection to allegations of sexual harassment against him. 

In a letter, Cuomo’s attorneys are demanding U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate and give the former governor an opportunity to review evidence. Cuomo said in a statement that the DOJ findings in the agreement were made without an independent investigation and are flawed. 

A week ago, the Justice Department concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, and that female employees were subjected to a sexually hostile workplace. The settlement agreed with the findings of a 2021 report by New York State Attorney Tish James’ office. Cuomo resigned shortly after that report was released. He denies wrongdoing.

Shelley Hassman-Kadish reports

Here’s a bite-sized look at what else we are hearing: 

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker delivered his State of the City address. He touted the city’s population growth — and available affordable housing, which makes up a third of the city’s housing stock. More than 50 protestors briefly interrupted his address, calling Elicker and the city Board of Alders to join in calling for a cease-fire on the Israel-Hamas war. Elicker said he understood their frustrations but said this was not a productive way to have this conversation. No protesters were arrested.

Norwalk’s public schools are set to provide free access to menstrual products in all restrooms for grades 3-12. This is in accordance with a new state law that requires each Board of Education to provide free menstrual products by Sept. 1. The products will be available in every women's restroom and all-gender restrooms and at least one men's restroom for transgender and intersex youth.

A state Supreme Court judge dismissed a Republican petition to limit the ability for New York voters to cast ballots via mail. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the law in 2023. She said voting by mail improves participation and expands access to the ballot box for all eligible voters. State Republicans say voting by mail is unconstitutional under state law, which does not allow for “no excuse” absentee voting and could increase voter fraud. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) will appeal.

Bridgeport police fatally shot a fleeing suspect in Ansonia on Sunday. Officers attempted a motor vehicle stop when the unnamed driver sped away, causing a brief chase to ensue. The fleeing vehicle crashed into a porch, and the driver allegedly began shooting at police. The driver died from his injuries at Griffin Hospital. Connecticut Inspector General Robert Devlin Jr. will investigate the shooting.

A Suffolk County Supreme Court judge dismissed a seven-year-long Southold wrongful termination lawsuit. Former police officer Garrett Lake claimed he was fired in bad faith due to political pressure. Several residents complained about Lake conducting excessive traffic stops and accused him of police harassment. Quinn ruled that Lake lacked sufficient proof that he was illegally terminated.

A date for the Merritt 7 ribbon cutting has not been set. Officials from the state Department of Transportation told WSHU they hope to celebrate the opening of Connecticut’s newest train station on the Danbury Branch of the Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line in Norwalk sometime in February, but a specific day has not been set. It was originally expected in January.

Scammers disguised themselves as Westport police. According to the local police department, several residents received fake phone calls, emails or text scam messages asking for hundreds of dollars in traffic violations. Police advised residents that they wouldn't request payment in this manner, and suggested people delete the messages as soon as they’re received.

Over 100 reports of sexual misconduct were filed from female York Correctional Institution inmates. From 2019 to 2022, hundreds of women were reportedly verbally and physically abused by correction officers, staff and other inmates. The advocacy agency Disability Rights Connecticut is investigating the reports.

Connecticut state parks are seeking public-private partnerships to boost attendance. Through the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s new “Partnerships in Parks Initiative,” local businesses and nonprofits are invited to submit concepts that will elevate recreation experiences, expand tourism destinations, and provide sustainable access to the outdoors. The state agency hopes new partnerships will be formed in the same vein as skiing at the Mohawk Mountain State Forest or floating-tube rentals on the Farmington River.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.