By Leon R. Koziol, J.D.
Former civil rights attorney and upstate city councilman
Politics makes for strange bedfellows. That may be the best summation to depict Rudy Giuliani’s rash decision to defend Andrew Cuomo after a scathing report by New York’s Attorney General which found that the defiant governor had fostered a hostile work environment based on unwanted sexual advances. Even Cuomo himself urged the public in March to reserve judgment until that report (and investigation) was completed.
Had that report favored the governor, he would have been all over the news (that he craves) demanding apologies. As for Rudy, he could care less about Andy or due process. He is crossing party lines to troll for public support behind his own self-interests. In recent headline news, as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani had his law license suspended based on the public clamor he caused at the Capitol with false claims of election fraud. It was no small matter since Mr. Giuliani was repeating his false statements even after being warned or proven incorrect. He was using his fame, former public office as New York mayor and professional status as a licensed attorney to sway protesters in a dangerous direction.
This was more than sufficient for ethics monitors to take action that many might argue was too late. There was no laudable purpose, whistleblowing or lawsuit disclosure behind these repeat statements. It was pure politics. Action was authorized prior to any evidentiary hearing because of the imminent danger to the public. Now Rudy is using his ordeal to make a parallel cry for justice by exploiting Cuomo as is latest crutch despite the governor’s physical and emotional harm to state employees. Resignation or impeachment is proper under these extraordinary circumstances and not to be confused with any civil or criminal case which might follow.
So let’s keep this in perspective. The ultimate hypocrite, Andrew Cuomo, is defying everyone like he did the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption in 2014. From the president of the United States to his many sexual harassment victims, he continues to disregard the caliber and number of citizens calling for his resignation. The persecution exhibited against me as a corruption whistleblower, victimized parent and civil rights attorney far exceeds the injustices claimed by these politicians. But I have no political influence.
Should this be a surprise to anyone in today’s double-standard world that protects the rich and famous? Andy is not your average governor as he himself professes. He is way beyond average but not the way he would like to be known in his self-love books. At one point during all the hoopla surrounding the public comparisons of his brother Chris to Fredo, he threatened to punch out Donald Trump, falling back on his Italian heritage for justification. Now how can that violent reaction be squared with honorable service or due process? One could easily make the case that Andy is promoting violence as much as Rudy may be.
Now Andrew Cuomo is using that same heritage to justify sexual harassment of women and a hostile work environment which the newly released report condemned in resounding fashion. Since when does a politician use his or her family and heritage to explain kissing, caressing and hustling of women while collecting an exorbitant state salary in a state owned mansion? Worse yet, he is using the power and prestige of public office to achieve such misconduct. In the process, he is giving both his family and heritage a bad name.
None of this is registering in Cuomo’s constantly scheming head. And there is no insecticide, vaccine or remedy to eradicate this political cockroach. In the past, we at Leon Koziol.com saw through his sick rhetoric and an ego that makes Donald Trump appear tolerable. For example, at the onset of the pandemic, we ran a series known as Corona Chronicles to expose the real Cuomo during the height of his popularity. We were not so duped as the liberals were to hold their media darling to the same standards as those they routinely scrutinized in public office.
Maybe they finally discovered a sliver of moral fiber to do the right thing here.
Leon R. Koziol is a former civil rights attorney who took a stand against his profession for its abuse of parents in divorce and family courts. He was invited to testify before Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Moreland Commission on Public Corruption in 2013. However that commission was prematurely dissolved one year later when deliberations began implicating the governor himself. Not to be duped, one of the presenters, federal prosecutor Preet Bharara, seized commission files resulting in the convictions of the leaders of both houses of New York’s legislature and a top Cuomo aide. The governor managed to dodge similar liability. As a civil rights attorney, Mr. Koziol was among the pioneers in upstate New York to hold sexual harassment predators accountable in our workplaces, i.e. Currie v Kowalewski, 842 F. Supp. 57 (NDNY 1994).