Plaintiffs' employment firm Wigdor hires ex-Cuomo ethics lawyer

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo arrives to depart in his helicopter after announcing his resignation in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 10, 2021. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/File Photo

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  • Laura Edidin hired by New York-based firm
  • Wigdor often represents plaintiffs in sexual harassment and misconduct cases

(Reuters) - A former high-ranking ethics lawyer in the office of ex-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has joined Wigdor, the law firm said Friday.

Laura Edidin will be of counsel at the 12-lawyer plaintiffs'-side employment firm, which has brought a string of high-profile cases on behalf of clients alleging sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct.

Edidin arrives at the New York firm less than a year after she resigned as chief special counsel for ethics, risk and compliance for Cuomo's office. She said that she left in March due to her dismay over the harassment allegations against Cuomo that ended his career as governor.

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Cuomo resigned Aug. 10 after a five-month inquiry by New York Attorney General Letitia James concluded he'd sexually harassed 11 women and violated state and federal law.

Cuomo at the time denied wrongdoing but accepted responsibility for what he characterized as ill-conceived attempts to be affectionate or humorous.

"I had no knowledge of any sexual harassment going on in the governor's office. I was as shocked as anybody," said Edidin.

She said at Wigdor she wants to "scale up my impact in terms of advancing gender equity," by working on cases related to discrimination, sexual harassment and gender-based violence.

A Wigdor representative confirmed an unnamed state trooper, who claimed Cuomo harassed her on multiple occasions, is a client of the firm.

The representative declined to comment on the details of Wigdor's work for the trooper.

Before Edidin's two-year stint in the Cuomo administration, she led the human trafficking unit in the Brooklyn district attorney's office.

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Chinekwu Osakwe covers legal industry news with a focus on midsize law firms. Reach her at Chinekwu.osakwe@thomsonreuters.com.