New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) sexually harassed a number of feminine staff and created a “hostile work environment for women,” an investigation by the New York state legal professional common concluded on Tuesday morning.
“The independent investigation has concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law,” New York state Attorney General Letitia James introduced in a press convention.
The investigation discovered that Cuomo “sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by engaging in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women,” James mentioned Tuesday.
The legal professional common’s workplace spoke with 179 individuals for the investigation and reviewed greater than 74,000 items of proof, together with emails, texts, photographs and audio recordsdata. The proof painted a “deeply disturbing yet clear picture” that Cuomo sexually harassed feminine staff, lots of whom had been younger girls, James mentioned.
The report mentioned that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 girls, together with a state trooper assigned to his protecting element, members of the general public and present and former employees members. Nine girls accused Cuomo of sexual harassment and inappropriate feedback earlier this yr.
The report famous two new accusers, certainly one of whom was the state trooper. The trooper mentioned Cuomo engaged in sexual misconduct on quite a few events, together with the next allegations: one time when Cuomo ran his finger down her again and mentioned “hey you;” kissed solely her on the cheek throughout a gathering with a number of individuals current, and later requested to kiss her once more, which she deflected; requested her why she didn’t put on a costume; and requested her to assist him discover a girlfriend, telling the trooper he’s searching for somebody who “can handle pain.” Several different state troopers on Cuomo’s protecting element corroborated the feminine trooper’s allegations.
The investigation discovered that Cuomo and his senior crew actively retaliated towards one girl who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment.
“Governor Cuomo’s administration fostered a toxic workplace that enabled harassment and created a hostile work environment where staffers did not feel comfortable coming forward with complaints about sexual harassment due to a climate of fear and given the power dynamics,” James mentioned.
Although Cuomo’s habits violated state and federal legislation, James famous that the report didn’t reach a conclusion as to whether Cuomo’s conduct quantities to prison prosecution.
The inquiry into Cuomo’s conduct started in March, after Cuomo himself approved the investigation ― a move many perceived as a last-ditch effort to stave off requires his resignation. Independent investigators and attorneys Joon Kim and Anne Clark led the investigation. Kim and Clarke questioned Cuomo for 11 hours earlier this week as a part of the investigation course of, The New York Times reported.
Cuomo issued a half-hearted apology in March when the accusations first got here out, however has since modified his tune. “I’m very eager to get the facts to the people of this state,” Cuomo mentioned final week. “I think when they hear the actual facts, what happened, how the situation has been handled, I think they’re going to be shocked. Shocked.”
Several New York state lawmakers have already referred to as for Cuomo’s resignation in gentle of the investigation’s findings. New York state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) mentioned that “the Governor must resign for the good of the state.” Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) urged Cuomo to resign and referred to as for his arrest, including that Biden should instantly name for the governor’s resignation.
“No one is above the law and today justice must be served,” Stefanik mentioned in a Tuesday afternoon assertion. “The media and Democrats smeared me and closed ranks to protect Cuomo, a shameful chapter in New York history. All of them including his staff must be held to account. These brave women deserve swift and definitive justice.”
UltraViolet, a nationwide girls’s group, referred to as for the governor’s resignation in March when girls initially accused Cuomo of sexual harassment.
“Today we are reiterating our call for Cuomo to resign and urge the Democrats who encouraged this investigation by Attorney General James’ office to demand accountability from Cuomo immediately. If Cuomo refuses to resign from office, we demand his timely removal by New York legislators,” mentioned Bridget Todd, director of communications at UltraViolet.
“This report proves what we suspected — Andrew Cuomo is unfit to represent New York state,” Todd continued. “We implore Democrats who called for this investigation to take the results seriously. Anything less is unacceptable and a flagrant disregard for past, present and future employees and residents of New York State.”
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