Normally, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is the one doing the investigating. But suddenly, the tables have been turned by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who on Monday night directed the state attorney general to probe Vance's handling of a 2015 sexual abuse allegation against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Citing questions about that case, which the DA dropped against the wishes of police investigators, Cuomo said in a statement, "It is of great concern that sexual assault cases have not been pursued with full vigor by our criminal justice system." And he said he'll decide, based on the Attorney General's report, if further actions against Vance may be necessary.
The move came after the activist group Time's Up, in an open letter on Sunday, called on Cuomo to launch an independent investigation.
Some interpreted his prompt action as a move to solidify female support in the face of a new primary challenge.
Complicating things, the NYPD is currently conducting a separate investigation of Weinstein. As to where that stands, police officials point to Vance.
"I would ask you to talk to Cy Vance about that, DA Vance. It's his case right now," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said on March 7. "We've accumulated quite a bit of evidence. And I would ask you to ask him what his schedule, where it goes forward."
According to Cuomo, Vance now expects to wrap up the case within 45 days. The report on Vance will wait until after then.
In the middle of it all is state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who promises a full, fair and independent review of Vance's actions.
Vance, in a statement Monday night, said, "We are confident that any review will confirm that our Office has pursued its investigation without fear or favor, based on the merits alone. We will of course provide the Attorney General with any necessary information, and expect that he will promptly determine that our Office been guided solely by the facts and the law."
As for Mayor Bill de Blasio, he says only that he wants to see an effective prosecution going forward.
"I have faith in the district attorney and the police department that they are putting that together right now," he said Monday.
Time's Up, meanwhile, thanked Governor Andrew Cuomo via Twitter, writing, "We applaud you for your swift response in calling for an investigation of DA Vance."