Jean Kim, a lobbyist who last week accused current mayoral candidate Scott Stringer of sexual abuse and harassment, has now filed a civil rights complaint with the New York Attorney General’s office.
Patricia Pastor, the lawyer who is representing Kim, said she filed the complaint with the AG’s civil rights bureau early Tuesday morning. Kim has alleged that two decades ago the city comptroller forcibly touched and kissed her, as well as repeatedly propositioned her when she worked as a volunteer on his 2001 public advocate campaign.
Stringer has vociferously denied the accusations.
Several public officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, have called for a swift investigation given the impending primary, which is now seven weeks away.
But it’s unclear which agency can conduct such an investigation. The statute of limitations on the alleged crime prevents Kim from filing a criminal complaint.
Pastor said the city’s Department of Investigation had declined to take on the case.
“We are bringing this to the AG because the AG’s role is to investigate wrongdoing by officials,” she told Gothamist. “This is about what is best for the people of the city and state of New York. Should they have a New York City comptroller who allegedly committed these acts? Should they have a mayor in this position?”
A person who works in the office for Letitia James, the state attorney general, acknowledged receipt of the complaint and said it was under review.
According to Pastor, Kim said she told her now-fiancé eight years ago about the alleged incidents. She has maintained she never went public with her story until now because of fear of retribution from Stringer. She has worked as a political consultant and lobbyist over the years, but said she is currently transitioning out of the field.
Stringer is among the top five mayoral candidates in polls. Prior to the allegations, he had received a string of endorsements. However, many of his supporters, including the Working Families Party, and a progressive flank of lawmakers have since withdrawn their backing.
Four rival mayoral candidates—Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Dianne Morales, and Maya Wiley—have called on Stringer to bow out of the race.
In response to news of the civil rights complaint, Tryone Stevens, a spokesperson for Stringer, issued the following statement, “We welcome examination of this false allegation by any independent third party, whether that be a government agency or journalist.”
Stringer has said multiple times that women deserve to have their sexual misconduct accusations be heard, but his campaign has nonetheless sought to undermine Kim’s credibility.
On Friday, Stevens issued a statement accusing her of working for Andrew Yang, another candidate in the race.
Kim denied any such connection.
“I do not work and have never worked for the Andrew Yang campaign,” she said, in a statement. “I’ve never met him, and I have not decided who my choice is for mayor of New York City.”