Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple fervently defended the misdemeanor complaint his office filed Thursday, charging former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo with a sex crime. The filing caused some confusion, with the local district attorney saying he was “surprised” by it and the victim’s lawyer saying she was caught off guard. During a radio interview Friday, Apple said his department reviewed “hundreds, if not thousands” of pages of evidence before it decided to file the complaint. “We’re very comfortable with the information that we’ve obtained and our victim has been in contact with us,” he said during the interview, noting that his investigation was separate from the local district attorney’s. Apple also said Cuomo would likely not be formally arrested ahead of his Nov. 17 court date, hoping to avoid making a spectacle out of a serious charge. “We’re not looking to showboat anything,” he said.
Cuomo was charged with forcible touching for allegedly groping the breast of a former aide Brittany Commisso, according to court documents. His spokesperson, Rich Azzopardi, seized on the confusion, issuing a statement calling Apple a “cowboy” and saying that “accidentally” filing a charge without the DA’s knowledge “doesn’t pass the laugh test.”