New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed virtually a dozen women, together with workers in his workplace, and violated state and federal legal guidelines, in accordance to the results of an investigation by the condition lawyer general’s office environment.
The embattled governor denied the accusations and vowed that he will “not be distracted” from his work, but within just hours of the report’s release, Democratic management, like longtime Cuomo ally President Joe Biden, demanded he stage down.
“I think he should really resign,” Biden reported.
The investigation observed that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women of all ages, 9 of whom are current and former point out staff members — and a person of whom is a New York State trooper. “None of them welcomed it and all of them uncovered it uncomfortable,” New York Lawyer Normal Letitia James advised reporters Tuesday.
In just one circumstance he grabbed an government assistant by the buttocks and groped her below her shirt, and he fondled the point out trooper, the report located.
The 165-site report also uncovered the governor and his group retaliated from a former employee for coming forward, and that they fostered a “toxic” perform environment.
In a assertion the Albany County, N.Y. district attorney’s office environment said it has an ongoing prison investigation into Cuomo’s conduct, and they will be formally requesting investigative products from the AG’s place of work.
Cuomo, in a online video statement, all over again denied any wrongdoing, and reported he was issuing his individual report to “now share the truth of the matter.”
“The information are significantly distinctive than has been portrayed,” he reported. “I by no means touched anyone inappropriately or designed inappropriate sexual innovations.”
He recommended the report was tainted by “bias” and portrayed himself as a protector of females.
“For all those who are working with this minute to score political details, or search for publicity or particular acquire, I say they basically discredit the reputable sexual harassment victims that the regulation was made to defend,” Cuomo explained.
He went on to say that he would employ more trainers to avert business office harassment: “I want New York Point out governing administration to be a model of business office conduct, and I brought in an specialist to design new sexual harassment coverage and strategies, and to practice the whole team, myself incorporated.”
Cuomo, a Democrat in his 3rd time period, has rebuffed phone calls to move down and continuously denied wrongdoing, originally predicting that the probe by James’ workplace would exonerate him. It did the reverse.
“This is a unfortunate working day for New York because impartial investigators have concluded that Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed numerous females and, in performing so, broke the law,” said James, whose place of work questioned 179 folks and reviewed around 74,000 documents in the months-extended probe.
Various Democrats in Washington, Albany and New York Metropolis immediately issued calls for the governor to move down, and the method of impeaching him gained momentum.
Condition Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat who’d beforehand identified as on Cuomo to resign, reported in a assertion, “Now that the investigation is total and the allegations have been substantiated, it should really be clear to everybody that he can no extended serve as governor.”
Condition Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat who licensed the Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation into Cuomo in March, reported it is really very clear the governor “has lost the self-confidence of the Assembly Democratic the greater part and that he can no lengthier continue to be in office environment.”
“As soon as we acquire all relevant documents and evidence from the Lawyer Basic, we will transfer expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as swiftly as doable,” Heastie explained. Any impeachment proceeding would start in his chamber of the legislature.
James reported she would cooperate with the Assembly’s investigation “as essential.”
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who would become governor if Cuomo resigned, said in a pair of tweets that James’ probe “has documented repulsive & illegal actions by the Governor” and that “I consider these brave gals.”
“Beneath the New York Constitution, the Assembly will now figure out the following ways. Because Lieutenant Governors stand future in the line of succession, it would not be correct to remark additional on the approach at this minute,” she wrote.
James’s investigators specific in graphic terms circumstances of harassment they say Cuomo perpetuated, including building sexual opinions and grabbing ladies.
Cuomo is accused of “a sample of inappropriate carry out” with a staff member explained as “Executive Assistant #1,” which included kissing her on the lips at least once, grabbing her buttocks during hugs, asking various times about irrespective of whether she experienced cheated or would cheat on her spouse and after achieving beneath her blouse and grabbing her breast, in accordance to the report.
The report corroborates allegations designed by a lot of females who’d by now come ahead, and also incorporates accounts from earlier mysterious victims, which include a point out trooper who Cuomo had asked for be his assigned to his security depth soon after seeing her at an occasion.
Cuomo harassed the trooper on a selection of situations, the report located.
In just one instance, Cuomo ran “his hand throughout her stomach, from her tummy button to her right hip,” as she held a door open, the report states. When she was standing in entrance of him on an elevator, he ran “his finger down her back, from the top rated of her neck down her backbone to the center of her back again, stating ‘hey, you,'” the report states.
In an additional instance, he is accused of “kissing her (and only her) on the cheek in entrance of another trooper and asking to kiss her on one more event, which she deflected.” Other troopers corroborated the accounts.
The report also integrated an encounter Cuomo experienced with a female named Virginia Limmiatis at a conservation party in upstate New York in 2017.
Limmiatis was waiting to the fulfill the governor and other attendees at the function and was putting on a shirt with the identify of the electricity organization she worked for created throughout the chest.
When Cuomo spoke to her, “he ran two fingers across her chest, urgent down on each individual of the letters as he did so and reading out the name of the Power Enterprise as he went. The Governor then leaned in, with his face shut to Ms. Limmiatis’s cheek, and stated, ‘I’m likely to say I see a spider on your shoulder,’ just before brushing his hand in the area between her shoulder and breasts (and below her collarbone),” the report says.
Cuomo and his place of work also retaliated from the initially female who spoke out publicly about how she’d been treated by the governor, Lindsey Boylan, a deputy secretary for financial improvement and distinctive adviser to Cuomo from 2015 to 2018.
Boylan wrote in an essay on the web site Medium that she had been subjected to “pervasive harassment” when she worked for him, together with currently being questioned to “play strip poker” and obtaining an undesired kiss on the mouth.
Just after she initial tweeted allegations about possessing been sexually harassed by the governor in December, Cuomo and people in his place of work “actively engaged in an exertion to discredit her, such as by disseminating to the press private internal documents that painted her in a adverse gentle and circulating amid a team of existing and former Government Chamber workers (though not finally publishing) a proposed op-ed or letter disparaging Ms. Boylan that the Governor individually participated in drafting,” the report discovered.
‘Light on injustice’
James’s investigators interviewed Cuomo as element of their probe.
“Wherever the Governor produced particular denials of perform that the complainants recalled obviously,” the report explained, “we observed his denials to absence believability and to be inconsistent with the weight of the evidence received through our investigation.”
James summed up the probe by saying it “unveiled carry out that corrodes the pretty fabric and character of our point out government and shines gentle on injustice that can be present at the highest amount of authorities.”
The report observed that Cuomo and his place of work experienced violated their possess policies by not quickly reporting and investigating the allegations of harassment by themselves.
The lawyer basic did not announce any rates, declaring that the women could pursue civil suits or that area police departments and prosecutors could overview their findings.
“We have issued a report and all all through the method we put our heads down, we’ve completed our work. And at this level…we are heading to allow for the chips to simply call the place they may well,” James said.
James’ office commenced an formal investigation into Cuomo in March, right prior to Anna Ruch, 33, explained to The New York Situations that she felt “uncomfortable and ashamed” when Cuomo put his arms on her confront and requested to kiss her at a wedding ceremony in 2019.
In answering a query on what the public must acquire away from the report, James replied, “That these 11 gals had been in a hostile and harmful operate natural environment, and that we should believe that girls.”