Meet the ‘Cowboy Sheriff’ Who Wants Andrew Cuomo in Jail

The legal team of disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for an investigation into Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple Sr.’s top cigar-loving agent, who charged the Democrat in October of a sex crime without informing prosecutors. consult.

Apple, 54, a Democrat with a progressive track record, has come under close scrutiny from both Cuomo’s camp, which accused him of working with State Attorney General Letitia James to bolster her gubernatorial ambitions, as well as by Albany County District Attorney David Soares, who has alleged that the Popular Sheriff engaged in “disturbing” investigative methods and concealed potentially “exculpatory” evidence.

Apple, scornfully called the “cowboy sheriff” by Cuomo and his cohorts, has denied any wrongdoing, even after the ex-governor and his aides dug up a 10-year-old recording of the sheriff saying, “I know how to do it.” manipulate the law and I’ve gotten pretty good at it.’

Apple was also concerned about what it described as an “unfair” claim that it “tricked” Soares by filing the lawsuit against Cuomo without the involvement of the prosecutor, in an apparent attempt to force his hand. .

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Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple Senior

Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple Sr. (left) comes under scrutiny after he filed a sex crime charge against former New York government leader Andrew Cuomo (right)

Cuomo, who resigned in August over a sex scandal, was accused last year by his former assistant Brittany Commisso (left) of groping her breast

Cuomo, who resigned in August over a sex scandal, was accused last year by his former assistant Brittany Commisso (left) of groping her breast

Cuomo, who resigned in August over a sex scandal, was accused last year by his former assistant Brittany Commisso (left) of groping her breast

Speak with The New York TimesApple said of Soares: “Listen, he’s the prosecutor, he can do what he has to do in this case. I mean, it’s all up to him. It’s his privilege.’

In late October, Sheriff Apple made headlines nationwide when he filed a complaint accusing Cuomo, 64, of committing a sex crime involving his former assistant, 33-year-old Brittany Commisso.

The complaint accused Cuomo of forcibly touching by putting his hand under Commisso’s shirt and groping her chest at the Executive Mansion on December 7, 2020.

Cuomo was due to appear in court on Nov. 17, but DA Soares asked a judge for more time to evaluate the evidence, saying the complaint filed by Apple was “possibly flawed.”

Soares, who said he was taken aback by the filing, said in a letter to Judge Holly Trexler that his office had been investigating the case for several months when Apple filed a “unilateral and inexplicable” complaint against Cuomo.

Cuomo's camp has accused Apple of partnering with state AG Letitia James to bolster its governorship ambitions.  The two posed for a photo together in early October

Cuomo's camp has accused Apple of partnering with state AG Letitia James to bolster its governorship ambitions.  The two posed for a photo together in early October

Cuomo’s camp has accused Apple of partnering with state AG Letitia James to bolster its governorship ambitions. The two posed for a photo together in early October

Soares claimed the complaint did not contain an affidavit from Commisso.

The prosecutor said the sheriff’s complaint, as filed, contained only part of the woman’s testimony but omitted other parts, including sections that could potentially be helpful to Cuomo’s defense.

Apple opposed Soares’ claims, insisting that its investigator who submitted the paperwork submitted all necessary documents in full.

Apple did acknowledge that the court papers had been processed faster than intended before it had a chance to consult the prosecutor. But he said he has faith in the strength of the case.

Forced touching is a felony in New York, which carries a jail term of up to one year, although many cases for first-time offenders are resolved with probation or a shorter jail term.

Cuomo has repeatedly denied touching anyone inappropriately.

Albany County DA David Soares has claimed sheriff engaged in 'disturbing' investigative methods and concealed potentially 'exculpatory' evidence in the Cuomo case

Albany County DA David Soares has claimed sheriff engaged in 'disturbing' investigative methods and concealed potentially 'exculpatory' evidence in the Cuomo case

Albany County DA David Soares has claimed sheriff engaged in ‘disturbing’ investigative methods and concealed potentially ‘exculpatory’ evidence in the Cuomo case

He resigned in August after an investigation by New York Attorney General James concluded that Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women.

Just days after Soares asked the judge to delay Cuomo’s arraignment by 60 days until Jan. 7, Cuomo’s attorney, Rita Glavin, demanded that an independent prosecutor be appointed to investigate allegations that Sheriff Apple illegally arraigned in August. jury information to the media.

Cuomo’s legal team also raised questions about the timing of the charges that came out a day before James announced her candidacy for New York governor, suggesting the sheriff and attorney general were in cahoots. No evidence of coordination between Apple and James has emerged.

The sheriff previously said his office had consulted AG James’s report on Cuomo as part of their investigation, but said he had not spoken to her directly about the charges.

Apple has been with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office since 1987 and was first elected to the top position in 2011, despite the release of the compromising audio recording in which he boasted of his ability to “manipulate” the law.

Apple, dubbed 'teflon sheriff' by his fellow Democrats, denies any wrongdoing in its handling of the Cuomo investigation

Apple, dubbed 'teflon sheriff' by his fellow Democrats, denies any wrongdoing in its handling of the Cuomo investigation

Apple, dubbed ‘teflon sheriff’ by his fellow Democrats, denies any wrongdoing in its handling of the Cuomo investigation

Over the past decade, Apple has weathered many political storms — including an investigation into county jail torture allegations over its practice of holding young inmates in solitary confinement — and has been re-elected twice unopposed, earning it the nickname. “the Teflon sheriff.”

During his time at the helm of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, Apple spearheaded initiatives that have proved popular with local voters, including turning an underutilized portion of the county jail into a homeless shelter, providing access to drug treatment to inmates fighting opioid addiction, and providing COVID-19 testing and vaccines.

Apple earned points from Democrats in 2018 when he spoke about the plight of the 300 undocumented immigrants caught crossing the Mexico-US border and taken to his prison, and he oversaw the effort. to give them access to translators.

A year later, Apple defended a homeless cook imprisoned for immigration violations, going so far as to appeal to then-President Donald Trump on Twitter, asking him to release the imprisoned man.

Given his track record and popularity, Councilman John McDonald, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Albany County, dismissed the suggestion that Apple went after Cuomo to bolster his support ahead of next year’s election.

At a news conference in late October announcing the charges against Cuomo, Apple said, “I have no target. My goal is not to throw Andrew Cuomo in jail.

“Eventually we have a victim and it is our job to deal with the investigated complaint and move on. And that’s what we did.’

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