The chief adviser to the New York Attorney General resigns after allegations of sexual harassment
The longtime chief of staff to Letitia James, the New York Attorney General, has resigned amid a misconduct investigation, and three people with knowledge of the matter said it addressed at least two sexual harassment allegations.
Former Chief of Staff Ibrahim Khan had been one of Ms James’ closest political advisors for almost a decade. He was accused of inappropriate touching and unwanted kissing from at least one woman. Ms James hired a law firm to investigate the allegations, two of those familiar with the matter said.
A woman who filed a complaint was told Friday that her allegations of inappropriate touching and unwanted kissing had been substantiated.
The allegations against Mr. Khan, who began working for Ms. James in 2013 as her campaign spokeswoman for the New York Public Advocate and then, after taking office, served as her chief of staff, were particularly sensitive to Ms. James, who was overseeing a 2021 investigation into allegations sexual harassment of then New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
When investigators assigned by Ms. James’ office found that Mr. Cuomo had sexually molested several women over a seven-year period, Ms. James spoke out strongly against him.
“No man – no matter how powerful – shall be allowed to harass women,” she said in a statement.
Mr. Cuomo resigned soon after.
On Friday, Mr Khan defended himself in a statement, saying he planned to leave his post by December 31, the end of Ms James’ first term. She was re-elected last month.
“The plan is for me to leave the office for the private sector at the end of this year,” he said in the statement. “This is unrelated to an investigation but found no official workplace wrongdoing,” he added, “is proud of everything we have accomplished serving the New Yorker over the past four years.”
Mr Khan’s claim that the inquiry found “no official workplace wrongdoing” could not be immediately confirmed and a spokeswoman for Ms James did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.
The allegations involved former employees of the office, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The office confirmed the resignation in a statement.
“The Attorney General’s Office has protocols in place to thoroughly investigate any allegation of wrongdoing,” a spokeswoman said. “The Office takes these matters with the utmost seriousness and this situation is no different. An independent, impartial investigation was conducted and the employee has since resigned.”
Several allegations against Mr Kahn were reported to the attorney general’s office by a political adviser, not by the victims themselves, according to one of those familiar with the matter.
Ms James made the decision to hire an outside law firm to investigate the allegations. It was not clear when Ms James learned of the allegations or when the firm was hired.
In 2017, when Ms. James was the city’s public advocate and Mr. Khan was her chief of staff, the New York Post reported that a former bureau employee had accused Mr. Khan of drugging and sexually assaulting her at a Christmas party.
The Post reported that two investigative agencies, the city’s Department of Investigation and the Manhattan Attorney’s Office, have investigated and closed the matter.
The article is no longer available on The Post’s website and the former employee could not be reached for comment. When asked about the article, a spokesman for The Post did not immediately comment.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/02/nyregion/ibrahim-khan-james-harassment.html The chief adviser to the New York Attorney General resigns after allegations of sexual harassment