AG still investigating Weinstein probes by Manhattan DA and NYPD

ALBANY – The Office of State Attorney General Letitia James is actively investigating the handling of sexual assault allegations and complaints against Harvey Weinstein by the Manhattan District Attorney and the Police Department’s Special Victims Unit of New York, according to documents obtained by the Times Union.

A contract with a firm that specializes in investigating sexual misconduct was initially contracted by the state in November 2020, months after the ousted movie mogul was convicted in his sexual assault case. The first payments had been made under the contract in June, four months after its authorisation.

Details about the details of the investigation have been redacted by the state comptroller’s office, which said releasing the details could jeopardize an ongoing law enforcement investigation.

In March 2018, then Governor. Andrew M. Cuomo instructed then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office to investigate how Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s office handled allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein.

The governor’s request came after pressure from star group Time’s Up, once hailed for its activism in the “#MeToo” movement, to open an investigation. (Time’s Up was disbanded following reports of its involvement in providing political spin to Cuomo while accused of sexual harassment, prompting his resignation a year ago.)

Five months later, Cuomo announced that he had asked the attorney general’s office to suspend the investigation. At that time, the district attorney was pursuing a lawsuit against Weinstein. Earlier that year, Schneiderman abruptly resigned following allegations that he had physically assaulted women.

By the time James became attorney general in 2019, the investigation had remained on hold as criminal and civil proceedings unfolded involving Weinstein, who was later sentenced to prison. After Weinstein’s criminal case went to trial, the attorney general’s office apparently revived its investigation.

In November 2020, the Attorney General’s office entered into an “engagement letter” with the firm hired to assist in its investigation, T&M Protection Resources, which is now known as T&M USA, a private security and specialist in sexual misconduct counseling and investigations.

The attorney general’s office had hired the firm to help investigate the handling of the Weinstein case by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the New York Police Department, as well as their “general handling of allegations of ‘sexual assault’.

The attorney general’s office recently made its first payment to the company, about $100,000 on June 27, according to comptroller’s office records. The contract is valued at approximately $300,000.

State records show the Attorney General’s office paid T&M approximately $48,000 as an expert witness in July 2021. Details of this work are not reflected in public records.

The attorney general’s office has confirmed that the investigation led by Cuomo four years ago remains open, which The New York Times reported last week.

A separate but far-reaching investigation was recently announced by the US Department of Justice into the NYPD’s Sex Crimes Unit.

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