A New York State assemblyman is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to launch an independent investigation into allegations that the Putnam County district attorney has remained involved in a case from which he recused himself.
The call from Republican Assemblyman Steve Katz comes one week after Republican state Senator Greg Ball wrote to Governor Cuomo, requesting that his office appoint an independent special prosecutor quote “to fully investigate the current legal fiasco in Putnam County.” Katz, whose district includes parts of Putnam and Westchester Counties, penned a letter to Cuomo Nov. 12.
What’s going on, he says, is that allegations have been flying in Putnam County and the press over Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy’s involvement on the defense side of an alleged child rape case in the county. Again, Katz.
In March, Levy’s friend and former personal trainer Alexander Hossu was arrested for the alleged rape of a girl in Southeast. Levy, the son of TV’s Judge Judy Scheindlin, recused himself from the case, handing it over to the Westchester County district attorney. Katz says elected officials in Putnam County government are losing the public’s trust.
After Hossu’s arrest, Putnam County Sheriff Donald Smith and Levy, often through issued statements, separately, differed on facts relating to the case. Media outlets including The New York Times have reported that Levy acknowledged that he contributed money toward Hossu’s legal expenses.
Levy’s spokesman at a Manhattan public relations firm declined to comment on Katz’s letter, but did issue a statement following Ball’s Nov. 4 letter to the governor. That statement said, in part, that Mr. Levy’s conduct in this matter has been entirely ethical, and he welcomes any inquiry into his actions because he knows he will ultimately be vindicated. The spokesman added that Levy is confident that Putnam County voters will understand the courage it takes to stand up for a friend and to fight back against dishonesty in the criminal justice system.
Over the summer, Levy filed a $5 million defamation lawsuit against Smith. Here’s Katz.
A spokesman for Governor Cuomo did not respond in time for this broadcast about Katz’s letter, but, following Ball’s letter, said the governor’s office was reviewing the request to appoint a special prosecutor in the case.