Hypocrisy in Action: Soares Investigating Cuomo – Part 1

P. David Soares

When I first read that Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares was planning to investigate whether New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo sexually assaulted and/or harassed one or more women, I immediately tried to remember what other politicians Soares has investigated and/or prosecuted during his 16+ year tenure.

Let’s see…Didn’t he prosecute Shelly Silver, the former Speaker of the NYS Assembly who was alleged to have taken kickbacks throughout most of his legislative career? Nope, that was the feds in the Southern District of New York.

OK…How about Joe Bruno, the former President of the NYS Senate whose initial conviction was vacated after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court as to what constitutes bribery – and who was found “Not Guilty” in his second trial? Nope, that was the feds in the Northern District of New York.

Hmmm…How about Alan Hevesi, the former NYS Comptroller who pleaded guilty to accepting nearly $1-million in gifts from the owner of a company that he approved to invest $250-million of NYS pension funds? Nope…that was New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

Well, how about that old horndog, Eliot Spitzer, the former NYS governor who resigned after he was caught on a wiretap setting up a meeting with a prostitute? Nope…Soares said he was “thinking about investigating” that matter back in 2007 – but if ever did, he never said anything about the results of his investigation.

Wait…He must have been the one who prosecuted – and convicted – Dean Skelos, the former President of the New York State Senate, right? Nope, that was Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Sothern District of New York.

Well, OK, but how about John Sampson, the former NYS Senator who was convicted of obstruction of justice and other charges, didn’t Soares prosecute him? Nope, once again, that was the federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York.

So, are there any other politicians that Soares has ever investigated and/or prosecuted besides Cuomo?

Apparently not.


Soares Confirmed His Office Is Investigating Cuomo

On Tuesday, August 4th, Soares confirmed on NBC’s Nightly News that his office was, in fact, conducting a criminal investigation regarding Cuomo.

Nightly News host Lester Holt started the show that night by noting: “I just spoke exclusively with Albany County District Attorney David Soares who is conducting an investigation of Governor Cuomo. I began by asking him if his office is doing a separate investigation.”

And Soares responded: “We are conducting a separate investigation. I think after today’s presentation, which here in Albany County we were witnessing at the same time that the rest of New Yorkers were witnessing, it’s pretty clear that we have an obligation here, and thus, we’ve reached out to the Attorney General’s office seeking all of the evidence upon which they uncovered and relied upon off of their report.”

Holt then asked a follow-up question: “Based on what you’ve seen in this report, is any of the behavior described and attributed to the governor, would any of that be considered criminal?”

And the less than articulate Soares responded as follows: “Well, the allegations early on certainly led myself [sic] and other prosecutors with concurring jurisdiction to believe that criminal activity, in fact, had taken place, but we will conduct our own independent investigation. It will be done expeditiously, and we will arrive at those conclusions.”

On Friday, August 6th, one of the women who have accused Cuomo of sexual assault filed a formal complaint with the Office of the Albany County Sheriff (The Albany County Sheriff, Craig Apple, and Soares are very tight political allies).

Apple confirmed that such a report had been filed – and indicated that it’s possible Cuomo could be arrested at some point in the future.

 “The end result could either be it sounds substantiated and an arrest is made and it would be up to the DA to prosecute the arrest,” Apple said. “Just because of who it is we are not going to rush it or delay it.”


Soares Has Shielded & Assisted NXIVM/ESP Throughout His Career

Almost from the day he was elected as Albany County D.A., Soares not only failed to undertake any investigation of Keith Raniere and his NXIVM/ESP criminal enterprise, he actually became an active advocate for – and protector of – both.

Keith Raniere

Perhaps it was the fact that his two sisters and a brother-in-law were enrolled members of NXIVM/ESP that caused Soares to turn a blind guy to the group and its numerous criminal activities.

In any event, in 2007 Soares became an active advocate for NXIVM/ESP and Raniere by bringing a baseless charge of grand larceny against me. He did this at the request of Clare Bronfman – with whom he met personally to plot my demise.

Upon learning that I had only been charged with one crime, Raniere immediately started pressuring Soares to bring more charges against me.  This eventually resulted in a phone call from Sen. Joe Bruno to Soares in which Bruno, acting at the urging of Nancy Salzman (who, at that time, was serving as Brono’s personal coach and therapist) pressured Soares to bring several more charges against me (Query: Why didn’t Soares report this totally inappropriate interference to the feds?).

But Soares – who was apparently expecting some sort of political contribution from Clare Bronfman for the original indictment – refused to make another presentation about me to the Albany County Grand Jury and the one-count indictment was immediately dismissed at the first hearing as the judge chided Soares for bringing an indictment based on insufficient evidence.

Clare Bronfman

Several years would pass before Soares would, once again, use the power of his office to aid and abet the NXIVM/ESP criminal enterprise – which I’ll discuss in the next installment of this series.


So, Why Is Soares Going After Cuomo Now?

From the time he was first elected, Soares has operated the Office of the Albany County D.A. as a transactional enterprise.

David Soares

Although they opposed him when he first ran for office, the leaders of the Albany County Democratic Party quickly learned that Soares was a guy with whom they could do business.

Unfettered by any personal ethics – and quite willing to use his office to punish the enemies of his political friends and patrons – Soares has only faced minimal opposition from his own party during the past 16 years.

In the most recent primary election that took place in 2020, Soares was opposed by Matt Toporowski, a former Assistant Albany County District Attorney who was in private practice.

Although he had the backing of the Working Families Party – which had previously supported Soares with funding and campaign staff – Toporowski stumbled early in the campaign when he was asked whether he had ever been disciplined while serving as an Assistant D.A.

Rather than simply admit that he had been suspended for a week after a photo appeared on social media showing him and two female students at Albany Law School mimicking a sex act, Toporowski gave a less-than-truthful answer to the Times Union reporter who asked him about the incident.

And how you ask did the Times Union reporter know to ask Toporowski about a personnel matter that was not available to the general public?

Well, the credit for that little bit of political sniping goes to David M. Rossi, the Chief Assistant District Attorney for Albany County – and the guy who fronts many of Soares’ nefarious activities.

Don’t forget Mr. Rossi’s name because he’s also going to show up as a key player in the indictment for computer trespassing that Soares brought against me – and several others – back in  2013.

So, back to the question of why Soares has stepped up publicly to take on an obviously wounded Andrew Cuomo?

Is it because he’s a firm backer of the #MeToo movement – and wants to be sure that Cuomo gets punished for his abhorrent behavior towards women?

Probably not – especially considering that Soares’ relationship with his current wife, Stacey Quackenbush, reportedly began when he met her at a gentlemen’s club in Albany where she was a star stripper (Soares was married at the time to Tina Pantuso but later divorced the mother of his two children).

No, Soares going after Cuomo means that there’s something in it for him because that’s how he operates as the District Attorney of what many consider to be the most politically corrupt county in the entire country.

The only question now is what reward is Soares going to get for doing something that he’s never done before – prosecuting a high-profile politician.

Note to Soares: Regardless of whether you succeed in taking down Cuomo, you are now going to get “profiled” yourself by the national media in a way that you have never experienced as the D.A. of an Upstate county in New York State.

At a minimum, you’re going to be asked lots and lots of questions about the critical role you played in allowing the NXIVM/ESP criminal enterprise – and its two leaders, Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman – to flourish throughout the entire time you’ve been in office.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re also asked about that phone call you got from Joe Bruno.

It’s time to put on your big boy pants, P. David…which, given your steroid-like growth over the last few years, are really the only ones you can fit into.

And if you’d like to challenge me on any of this, you know how to reach me…


About the author

J.J. O'Hara


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  • Why the childish comments about his weight? Hard to think this is any degree of unbiased with comments like that thrown in there. Especially when it doesn’t actually add anything to the story. Sure, weight gain is a pretty easy to see as a fact. But still childish.

    • While I agree that poking fun at Soares’ weight gain is unnecessary, the context of the reference had to do with his attempted prosecution of a steroid clinic in Florida – and the noticeable bulking up that he did over the next year or so. While I have no proof whatsoever that Soares ever took steroids, I can tell you that I’ve been around enough guys who did use steroids to say that his bulking up was remarkably similar.

      BTW, I will readily admit that I’m not at all “unbiased” when it comes to P. David Soares. Call me vindictive but that’s just how I am with sleazeball DAs who have indicted me twice on baseless charges in order to curry favor with Keith Raniere and Clare Bronfman.

  • David Soares has been a do-nothing DA since first elected. Crime is up in Albany — there are shootings every single day. But the good people of this City continue to re-elect him….possibly because he IS a do-nothing DA. Having worked in government in Albany for many years, it is a well-known fact that Soares is in the pocket of politicians.

    But, of course, he has to go after Cuomo — can you imagine if he didn’t?

  • Go get ‘em, Joe! I always enjoy your writing here, and the essay above is particularly righteous.

  • “Well, the allegations early on certainly led myself [sic] and other prosecutors with concurring jurisdiction to BELIEVE that criminal activity, in fact, had taken place, but we will conduct our own independent investigation. It will be done expeditiously, and we will arrive at THOSE conclusions.”

    Mr. Soares, in his less than articulate way, has stated the (his) truth: You’ll get a fair trial before we hang you.

  • A locality has neither the tools nor the budgets nor the expertise nor the jurisdiction to do big RICO actions like Sheldon Silver, which are federal causes of actions. And Silver did his transactions in NYC.

    An unlawful touching is a battery, a common tort, within a local DA’s grip.

    Graft, RICO ( Silver) are federal actions outside his jurisdiction.

    So, I half disagree.

    • To begin with, New York State has its own RICO statute – so those who committed RICO-type crimes in Albany County (e.g., Keith Raniere) could easily have been prosecuted by the Albany County D.A. (See: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/new-york-law/new-york-racketeering-rico-laws.html#:~:text=New%20York%20Racketeering%20%2F%20RICO%20Laws.%20Federal%20and,engaged%20in%20or%20affecting%20interstate%20or%20foreign%20commerce.)

      In addition, many of the crimes that those other politicians were charged with did, in fact, occur in Albany County as well as in New York City. So, they certainly could have been prosecuted by the Albany County D.A. (He didn’t even investigate them, let alone prosecute them).

      Soares has never investigated any political figures for any potential crimes, let alone prosecute them – which raises the question as to why he’s decided to go after Cuomo now.

      Lastly, why did Soares do nothing after he was informed about all of NXIVM’s criminal activities that were going on in his county? He didn’t investigate them – and he didn’t refer them to the NDNY. He just sat on them – and, instead, brought criminal charges against me and several other “enemies” of the NXIVM/ESP cult.

      If Soares would ever like to debate these matters in public, I will be happy to participate.

  • He’s a massive piece of shit, there is just no doubt. But Frank, I fear you will have no teeth to influence here. You’ve branded yourself as so far right wing that everything you do will be written off as biased. It’s a shame but it is true.

    I also think strategically this will help Cuomo. Cuomo can expose Soares for all the corruption he’s been doing to help NXIVM, so the Governor can use that and force him to botch the investigation.

  • My understanding is that the New York Democratic Party has moved so far to the left that the Cuomo Dynasty is regarded as too conservative for the New York Democratic Party.
    The Democrats are shifting towards the likes of Bill DeBlasio and Anastasia Ocasio-Cortez.
    The Working Families Party is pushing the New York State Democrat Party further left.

    Cuomo ruled New York like an Emperor for the last twelve years and has few political friends.
    The goal is to replace Cuomo with AG Letitia James, a Soros puppet.

    We are witnessing the end of the Cuomo Dynasty that has ruled New York since 1982.
    Bill O’Reilly: THIS is what YOU should learn from Andrew Cuomo’s scandal

    • As a lifelong New Yorker, I agree 100% with Shadowstate. Cuomo is too conservative, and the left wing probably -lesbian James is conducting a coup. But this current battle goes beyond that. I believe it goes to who controls the next budget and the billions in federal aid.

      Cuomo is a union whore. His budget earmarked construction projects we simply don’t need. Oh, lets renovate airports. Well, you did that not that long ago, and built new parking garages which sit there empty.

      And NY hates private businesses. State workers are hands down the highest paid. Go on seethroughny.net and hit the Payrolls button. You’ll be shocked. Oh, but they’ve essential and even got raises when the rest of the country shut down. Meanwhile, we rank dead last for business climate.

      NY is a complete mess. Cuomo DID get rid of corruption agencies investigating him but always remember, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.”

      • To demonstrate how far New York politics has shifted leftward, in 1982 when Mario Cuomo first ran for Governor against Ed Koch, Koch was the conservative and Mario Cuomo was the liberal.

        Today, Mario’s son Andrew is the more conservative candidate.

        Another example is Alphonse D’Amato, a conservative Republican who was elected US Senator in 1980, 1986 and 1992.

        Today, it is difficult to imagine anyone as conservative as D’Amato being elected to any state-wide post in New York.

  • Albany = Asshole of the nation
    Politics has always stunk in Albany.
    Such a shame “the Empire State” does not live up to the motto. City vs. State conflict has persisted over a century. I’d free NYC from this mess and let the rest of NYS figure it between themselves.

  • WTF? Bruno, the leader of the GOP in New York, asked Soares to bring additional criminal charges against Ohara and Soares didn’t find that odd? Makes you wonder what other kind of deals Soares had cut with other politicians.

    • It was Bruno and a PAC he controlled that the Bronfmans gave their largest donations to, which if I recall amounted to close to half of all NXIVM figures’ political gifts. Wasn’t he also the one who was flown around in the Bronfmans’ plane, and given massages by NXIVM members?

  • The NDNY basically allowed NXIVM and Raniere to do whatever they wanted for almost 20 years. Had it not been for the EDNY, NXIVM and Raniere would both still be abusing people – and taking advantage of them – just like they did for almost 20-years.

    O’Hara has pretty much called out Soares – which is a dicey thing to do with a District Attorney who has all sorts of power and the ability to decide who should be prosecuted and for what. I sure hope that the Feds in Washington will take a serious look at Soares and his cronies because for damn sure our local Feds are not going to do anything about this egregious bullshit.

    • Agreed, he is just as dirty as the rest of them. You just watch Mr. Slimy Cuomo answer to nothing. Sickening. For us as a country and for his victims. So sad.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com