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Chester County Press

Editorial: The inescapable echo of her alleged sins

08/17/2021 03:01PM ● By Richard Gaw

At the moment this editorial is being written on the afternoon of Aug. 10, Andrew Cuomo has just announced that he will resign from office as the Governor for the State of New York within 14 days, on the backlash of a sexual harassment scandal that is alleged to have involved his inappropriate behavior toward several women – many of them staffers in his administration.

It is normally not the exercise of this newspaper to venture into the matters of neighboring states. However, in the wake of the turbulent scandal that will soon leave a once-powerful governor stripped of his influence, Cuomo’s predicament – entirely of his own doing – is eerily similar in scope to the long and painful saga that led to the arrest of former Kennett Township manager Lisa Moore on Dec. 10, 2019 for allegedly embezzling $3.2 million from the township.

While the alleged crimes of Gov. Cuomo and Moore are as different as the state capitol of Albany is to Kennett Township, they have both been committed by individuals for whom the laws of checks and balances seemingly did not apply.

In the case of Cuomo, a scathing report issued by the New York attorney general found that the third-term governor sexually harassed 11 women and in one instance, attempted to retaliate against one of his accusers who shared her story with the public. These reports are just a slim year removed from the time when Cuomo was cementing his position as a rising star in the Democratic Party, that were illuminated by his dignified response to the COVID-19 outbreak in his state.

Similarly, it is still hard to connect Moore – a once highly-regarded stakeholder in the economic and social community of Kennett Square – with the findings of an extensive nine-month investigation by the Chester County District Attorney’s Office that revealed the full extent of Moore’s alleged crimes.

It is not the obligation of this newspaper to investigate the thorny mess that Andrew Cuomo now finds himself in -- that’s a deep dive for the New York tabloids that will sell newspapers for months -- but it falls well within our purview to compare Cuomo’s behavior with that of Moore’s.

In the case of both individuals, their first whiff of impropriety was both alluring and, in their minds, virtually harmless. Both were respected and trusted and therefore given all of the freedom to carry on unchecked and unregulated.

With each passing impropriety, however, another layer was added to the endorphin rush of being able to get away with it. Their actions, once implausible, had become routine, and eventually, a brash system of self-governing commonly known as hubris consumed them.

While it is most certain that the political career of Cuomo is over, we do not yet know what the fate of her actions holds for Moore. Her attorney Julia Alexa Rogers recently stood before a Common Pleas judge and asked that her client’s case be continued until September, in order to “prepare for plea to comply with terms thereof and determine scheduling.”

At the time of this writing, we anticipate the long, tangled saga of Lisa Moore’s alleged $3.2 million theft is about to come to an end, likely with a guilty plea, no trial, a plan to repay the money she allegedly stole and either a negotiated sentence or a probationary period.

While we await closure on this terrible tragedy in order to provide accurate reporting of it, we already know the calamity of its aftermath.

Just as Andrew Cuomo will spend the remainder of his life chained to the shackles of his absolute truth, Lisa Moore has already been sentenced to life in the prison of her own conscience, where the inescapable echo of her alleged sins has begun to reverberate, repeatedly, and where the many faces in the township who once trusted her will haunt her dreams, and where parole will never be granted.