NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Harassed Multiple Women, Independent Investigation Says
According to an independent investigation, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, subjecting them to unwanted kissing and groping.
Announcing the results of the inquiry, New York Attorney General Letitia James said Andrew Cuomo had violated state and federal laws.
Governor Cuomo is yet to respond to the investigation but has previously denied wrongdoing.
The report is likely to play a major part in a separate impeachment inquiry.
The investigation was commissioned in 2020 after several women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against the governor.
Investigators spent five months speaking to nearly 200 people, including staff members and some of those who made complaints against him. Tens of thousands of documents, texts and pictures were reviewed as part of the inquiry.
“The independent investigation has concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law,” Letitia James said.
Andrew Cuomo, the attorney said, had engaged in “unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous offensive comments”.
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In one case, Governor Cuomo and his staff retaliated against a former employee who accused him of wrongdoing, according to Letitia James.
Other women described being groped, kissed or sitting on the governor’s lap.
Andrew Cuomo allegedly reached under the blouse of an assistant to touch her breast, while another aide said he asked her if she was open to sex with an older man.
The governor stood behind a state trooper in a lift, running his finger down her neck and saying “hey you”, according to investigators.
On top of the allegations of harassment, Andrew Cuomo is accused of presiding over a “hostile and toxic work environment”.
Joon Kim, who co-led the investigation, said: “It was a culture where you could not say no to the governor and if you upset him or his senior staff you’d be written off, cast aside or worse.”
“At the same time the witnesses described a culture that normalized and overlooked everyday flirtations, physical intimacy and inappropriate comments by the governor,” he added.