An investigation by the New York Assembly found “overwhelming evidence” that former Governor Andrew Cuomo “engaged in sexual harassment” and created a “hostile work environment.”
The 63-page report also found that Cuomo abused his office by assigning government employees to help him research, write, and promote his book “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Cuomo received $5.1 million for the project.
“The former Governor utilized the time of multiple state employees, as well as his own, to further his personal gain during a global pandemic – a time during which the former Governor touted the “around-the-clock” state response to the crisis,” reads the report.
Investigators also determined that Cuomo “was not fully transparent regarding the number of nursing home residents who died as a result of Covid-19.”
Official government reports tallying the number of nursing home resident who died of COVID-19 were “substantially revised by the Executive Chamber,” according to the investigation. Those revisions were “largely intended to combat criticisms regarding former Governor Cuomo’s directive that nursing homes should readmit residents that had been diagnosed with COVID-19.”
The Assembly report widely reiterates the findings of an inquiry into Cuomo’s tenure led by state Attorney General Letitia James.
The New York Times reports:
While the attorney general’s report included 11 women who had accused Mr. Cuomo of sexual harassment, the Assembly’s brief focused on two — an unidentified state trooper and Brittany Commisso, the former executive assistant to Mr. Cuomo who accused him of groping her, and whose allegations formed the basis of a criminal complaint against him. Mr. Cuomo resigned a week after the attorney general’s report was released.
CBS News adds:
Investigators wrote that colleagues of the trooper who accused Cuomo of harassment corroborated her testimony. The trooper said misbehavior by Cuomo included “running his finger slowly down her spine, running his hand across her stomach, kissing and hugging her, and making numerous inappropriate and offensive comments,” according to the report.
“This has been a profoundly sad chapter in New York’s history,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, said. “As we have throughout this process, we will continue to cooperate with all relevant investigative bodies to provide them with the evidence we have uncovered.”
A spokesman for Cuomo said the former governor was not interviewed by the lawyers tasked with executing the Assembly’s inquiry and that omission “result[ed] in a one-sided report.”