The only sheriff to file sexual misconduct charges against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo is running for office.
Craig Apple, the Albany County sheriff who charged Cuomo with forcible touching last October before the district attorney dropped the charges roughly two months later, is seeking election in the 43rd District of New York's Senate, he confirmed in an Instagram video posted Thursday.
"I've done this for a long time, and I've been somewhat critical of our legislature at times," he told the Albany Times-Union of his position as sheriff. "I can't sit here and throw rocks at them if I'm not willing to go and try and work with them."
GEORGE PATAKI: CUOMO GUBERNATORIAL BID WOULD 'ALMOST GUARANTEE' GOP WIN
A representative for Cuomo, who lambasted Apple's botched decision to bring charges against him last year, mockingly suggested the news was a mixed bag.
"Pro — #CowboySheriff will no longer be able to abuse his law enforcement role for political gain. Con — you want THIS GUY writing laws?" Rich Azzopardi, a Cuomo spokesman, tweeted ahead of Apple's campaign launch.
District Attorney David Soares asked a judge to drop the charges Apple filed against Cuomo earlier this year, saying his office could not "meet [its] burden" if the case went to trial because the sheriff "uniformly and inexplicably" filed the complaint without the consent of the alleged victim, a premature filing lambasted by the Cuomo camp.
"'Accidentally' filing a criminal charge without notification and consent of the prosecuting body doesn't pass the laugh test, and this reeks of Albany politics and perhaps worse," Azzopardi said last October.
Apple conceded that the announcement of the charges against Cuomo came "much" sooner than originally planned.
"We would have liked to have presented everything, sat down with the DA, and explained exactly what we had," he said at an Oct. 29, 2021, press conference. "I would have also, out of courtesy, liked to have reached out to [Cuomo attorney Rita] Glavin and explained what we had and what the next process would be, but again, things change, and it doesn't always work out as planned."
Throughout the closing weeks of 2021, district attorneys in Nassau County, Westchester County, and other locations throughout New York closed investigations into Cuomo without charges, with most prosecutors saying that while they believed the accusers, the conduct alleged did not meet the standard of a criminal complaint.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
Cuomo, who denied all allegations of wrongdoing, resigned amid pressure from within his own party following a bombshell Aug. 3, 2021, report from the state's attorney general concluding he had sexually harassed at least 11 women. But the former governor has signaled he could make a political comeback and challenge his unpopular successor, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, with an independent bid in November.
The state Senate primary elections will be held Aug. 23.