New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “sexually harassed several women,” including members of his own cabinet, as well as other public officials, including a female policewoman, state attorney general Letitia James said on Tuesday. ), in announcing the findings of an independent investigation into the accusations made against the powerful Democrat.
“The independent investigation concluded that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed several women and, in doing so, violated federal and state law,” James said at a news conference.
The prosecutor also said the investigation showed how Cuomo “sexually harassed employees and former employees of New York State, by going forward with unwanted and unwanted touching and by making various comments of a suggestive sexual nature.
The report, which brings together testimonies from 179 witnesses and tens of thousands of documents, also asserts that the Governor’s Office was a hostile work environment for women.”
“The investigators independently corroborated and substantiated these facts through interviews and evidence, including contemporary notes and communications.”
Investigative lawyers Anne Clark and Joon Kim described a culture of abuse and fear in the executive chamber, where harassment was routine and protest was discouraged by the governor and his staff.
The report corroborated the allegations of an assistant who said Cuomo groped her against her will at the governor’s mansion.
“On November 16, 2020, at the executive mansion, the governor hugged Executive Assistant Lindsey Boylan #1 and reached under her shirt to cup her breast. This was the culmination of a pattern of sexual misconduct, including several intimate and close hugs where the governor held her so tightly that her breasts were pressed against her body. And he sometimes ran his hands up and down her back as he did that, “said Clark.”
There were also several occasions when the governor grabbed her ass. Executive Assistant #1 had sworn she would take these violations, as she put it, “to the grave”. She was scared of losing her job if she talked. But she collapsed in front of her colleagues when she heard the governor on March 3, 2021, at his press conference, claim that he had never touched anyone inappropriately.”
Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old former adviser, recounts a meeting of two in which the 63-year-old governor asked her if she had ever had sex with an older man and if she thought age mattered. “I understood that I wanted to sleep with me and I felt terribly uncomfortable and fearful,” says Bennett, who reported on the episode and transferred (she left her job in November).
The investigation also found that Cuomo and his close team took retaliatory action against at least one former employee for reporting her experience.
James said evidence found during the investigation will be published along with the report.
At least eight women, current workers, and former employees denounced what they said were inappropriate words and gestures by the Governor.
The report’s findings are sure to revive the governor’s calls for immediate resignation or if he refuses to resign, his impeachment. Many of Cuomo’s fellow Democrats, including state senators from the United States, as well as state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and more than 50 of her fellow legislators, asked Cuomo to step down several months ago amid a series of harassment charges against him.
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The State Assembly Judiciary Committee has been considering impeachment articles for several months. The committee is examining a range of allegations, ranging from sexual harassment to allegations that public officials were assigned to help him write his memoir about the pandemic, “American Crisis,” for which he received $5.1 million.
Cuomo is serving his third term. He said before the scandals broke out that he plans to run for a fourth term in 2022.
He denies these sexual harassment behaviors and rejects the resignation requests, which have been added including party colleagues from New York and the US Congress.
In March, President Joe Biden opined that if the charges against Cuomo were substantiated, he should resign.