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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

NY Attorney General’s Pakistani-American Chief of Staff Resigns

By A Correspondent

Ibrahim Khan remained Letitia James’ closest political advisor for nearly a decade. (Photo via Twitter)

A longtime senior aide to New York Attorney General Letitia James has resigned following allegations of sexual harassment investigation surfaced, The New York Times reported. Ibrahim Khan, 38, a known public policy expert was one of the senior-most officials in New York state who is of Pakistan origin. He was considered a rising star who remained Ms. James’ closest political advisor for nearly a decade.

“The longtime chief of staff to Letitia James, the New York attorney general, has resigned amid an investigation into misconduct, and three people with knowledge of the matter said it involved at least two sexual harassment allegations,” NYT said in a report. The allegations involved former employees of the office, NYT quoted two of the people with knowledge of the matter as saying.

Khan was accused of inappropriate touching and unwanted kissing by at least one woman, NYT said, adding Ms. James hired a law firm to investigate the allegations, two of the people with knowledge of the matter said.

“One woman who filed a complaint was told on Friday that her allegation of inappropriate touching and unwanted kissing had been substantiated,” it added.

The accusations against Khan, who began working for Ms. James as spokesman for her campaign for New York City public advocate in 2013 and then, after she took office, as her chief of staff, were particularly sensitive for Ms. James, who oversaw a 2021 sexual harassment inquiry of New York’s governor at the time, Andrew M. Cuomo.

According to NYT, Khan defended himself in a statement and said he had planned to depart his post by Dec. 31, the end of Ms. James’s first term. She was re-elected last month.

“I’ve been slated to leave the office for the private sector at the end of this year,” he said in the statement. “This is unrelated to an investigation which, nevertheless, found no official workplace misconduct,” adding he “is proud of all we have achieved over these past four years in serving New Yorkers.”

According to NYT, Khan’s claim that the investigation found “no official workplace misconduct” could not be corroborated immediately and a spokeswoman for Ms. James did not immediately respond to a request to confirm it.

The office confirmed the resignation in a statement.

“The office of the attorney general has protocols in place to thoroughly investigate any allegation of misconduct,” said a spokeswoman. “The office takes these matters with the utmost seriousness and this situation is no different. An independent, impartial investigation was conducted, and the employee has since resigned.”

Multiple allegations against Khan were reported to the attorney general’s office by a political consultant, not by the victims themselves, NYT quoted one of the people with knowledge of the matter as saying.

“Ms. James made the decision to hire an outside law firm to investigate the accusations. It was not clear when Ms. James was told of the allegations, or when the firm was hired.”

According to NYT, allegations of sexual impropriety by Ibrahim Khan had surfaced publicly before. In 2017, when Ms. James was the city’s public advocate and he was her chief of staff, The New York Post reported that a former employee of the office had accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting her at a holiday party.

The Post reported that two investigative agencies, the city’s Department of Investigation and the Manhattan district attorney’s office, had investigated the matter and closed it.

“The article is no longer available on The Post’s website, and the former employee could not be reached for comment. When asked about the article, a spokeswoman for The Post did not immediately comment,” NYT report added.

Before joining James, Khan worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2007 presidential campaign. He earned numerous accolades, including being named a 40-under-40 rising star in City & State Magazine and a political power to watch in the New York Observer. He also served as chief of staff and deputy public advocate for five years for the New York City public advocate and campaign manager for James’ attorney-general campaign.

Khan graduated from the University of Albany with a degree in political science. At university, he served as managing editor of the Albany Student Press (ASP) and as Muslim Student Association president.

According to UAlbany Magazine Khan is married to alumni Christine Khan Nee Marrero. The couple lives in Queens. They met at UAlbany, where Christine received a degree in communication and media.

 

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