When New York Attorney General Letitia James introduced that her workplace had substantiated a slew of allegations of sexual harassment in opposition to scandal-plagued Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday, maybe probably the most surprising revelation concerned a feminine state trooper assigned to his protecting element.
Along with focusing on the girl for task to him and subsequently sexually harassing her on a number of events, the AG’s probe led by two outdoors legal professionals discovered, Cuomo tried to play off his curiosity within the cop as a push for extra range on his employees.
In different phrases, the probe instructed, an erstwhile liberal titan who had as not too long ago as final yr styled himself a MeToo stalwart was now utilizing one other progressive precedence—range in politics and regulation enforcement—to attempt to save his personal pores and skin.
The impartial investigation into Cuomo discovered he sexually harassed a minimum of 11 present and former feminine state staffers in a “hostile” and “unsafe” work setting that repeatedly coated up for his “sample of inappropriate conduct.” However even because the probe concluded that Cuomo “engaged in illegal sexual harassment,” New York Lawyer Basic Letitia James stated her workplace didn’t attain a conclusion “as as to whether the conduct quantities to or ought to be the topic of felony prosecution.”
“The impartial investigation discovered that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed many ladies, lots of whom had been younger girls, by participating in undesirable groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate feedback,” James stated in a Tuesday press convention.
All the allegations detailed within the report are the stuff of nightmares, and Cuomo has steadfastly denied or tried to clarify the incidents away as misunderstandings.
“I by no means touched anybody inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. I’m 63 years outdated, I’ve lived my total grownup life in public view. That’s simply not who I’m and that’s not who I’ve ever been,” Cuomo stated throughout a Tuesday briefing. He went on to repeat his axiom that his penchant for allegedly consensual touching is only a innocent persona trait.
However the episode involving the unnamed trooper, as described by investigators, seemed to be uniquely brazen.
Among the many acts of sexual misconduct described within the probe had been a minimum of one event the place the trooper stated Cuomo ran his arms down her physique, issued her a kiss on the cheek in entrance of a colleague, and made a request she assist him discover a girlfriend who can “deal with ache.”
The investigation discovered that Cuomo took deliberate steps to make sure the trooper was moved onto his Protecting Companies Unit within the first place, though she didn’t have the historically required expertise for the distinguished position.
The inciting incident: an opportunity assembly at an occasion at Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in November 2017.
“Haha they modified the minimal from 3 years to 2. Only for you,” a senior member of the trooper’s staff advised her in a 2017 electronic mail, together with a discover indicating her two-year service on the drive was now adequate for her to affix the unit in command of defending Cuomo.
The report states that the senior investigator in command of the trooper’s switch testified that Cuomo was immediately concerned within the “determination to rent her” after he stated he was impressed together with her efficiency on the bridge occasion.
The governor’s different acknowledged cause for pushing for the trooper’s involvement within the PSU was that he was “searching for to extend range within the PSU, together with having extra girls,” the senior investigator testified.
“When requested about his involvement in Trooper #1’s switch, the Governor recited a number of occasions that he ‘was on fixed alert to recruit extra girls, Blacks, and Asians to the state police element,’” the report states.
It added that Cuomo stated when he testified to investigators that he didn’t know concerning the minimal service requirement for the PSU and that he had inspired two girls on the RFK Bridge occasion to use to the unit.
However the report discovered that Cuomo’s testimony was inconsistent with data from the senior investigator, the trooper, and one other lady who was on the occasion.
“Senior Investigator #1 advised us that though there was a minimum of one extra lady (who was additionally a Trooper) current on the RFK Bridge occasion, he doesn’t do not forget that Trooper talking with the Governor,” the report states. “Nor did Senior Investigator #1 recall the Governor or anybody from the Government Chamber talking to him about hiring the second lady. On the contrary, Senior Investigator #1 acknowledged that shortly after the occasion, the second Trooper remarked to him, ‘oh, you recruited [Trooper #1], however not me.’”
After becoming a member of the PSU in January 2018, the place she stays a present member, the trooper who stated she was harassed by Cuomo advised investigators she was moved from working at his Mount Kisco’s residence to his journey staff—and generally even served because the Governor’s driver.
Throughout her interactions with Cuomo, the trooper advised investigators, the Governor was usually “flirtatious” and “creepy”—a conduct trait she didn’t see him have together with her male colleagues. Quickly, the trooper stated her encounters with Cuomo turned “inappropriate and offensive,” together with repeatedly touching her physique with out her consent, kissing her on the cheek in entrance of a colleague, and making a number of demeaning and sexually suggestive feedback. She stated she by no means reported these incidents as a result of she was afraid of profession wreck.
In August 2019, the trooper stated, Cuomo requested her whereas she was not sporting a gown as she drove him to an occasion, to which she responded that “as a result of she wears a gun and wouldn’t have anyplace to place the gun if she wore a gown.” After Cuomo left the automotive, the trooper stated she acquired a message from a superior telling her to not repeat what the governor stated, an indication she took as an try and “silence” her.
“On one event in an elevator, the Governor ran his finger down the middle of Trooper #1’s again from the highest of her neck down the middle of her backbone, whereas saying, ‘Hey you,’” the report states.
A couple of weeks later, in the summertime of 2019, the trooper stated, Cuomo requested to kiss her within the driveway of his Mount Kisco dwelling.
“I bear in mind simply freezing, being—at the back of my head, I’m like, Oh, how do I say no politely, as a result of in my head if I stated no, he’s going to take it out on the element. And now I’m on the dangerous checklist,” the trooper testified to investigators, in response to the report. “Uncertain what to do, she replied, ‘Certain.’ The Governor then proceeded to kiss Trooper #1 on the cheek and stated one thing to the impact of, ‘Oh, I’m not supposed to try this’ or ‘except that’s in opposition to the foundations.’”
A male PSU colleague additionally corroborated the incident to investigators and joked to the trooper “that the Governor had by no means requested to kiss him,” the report states.
The report added that Cuomo as soon as went as far as to ask the trooper why she would need to get married, earlier than stressing that the dedication “at all times ends in divorce, and also you lose cash, and your intercourse drive goes down.
In one other dialog, Cuomo requested the trooper her age, earlier than telling her that she was “too outdated for me” when she stated she was in her late 20s. She tried to deflect the dialog by joking about changing into a matchmaker for Cuomo and requested him for his necessities.
“Based on Trooper #1, the Governor responded that for a girlfriend, he was on the lookout for somebody who ‘can deal with ache,’” the report states.
The allegations levied by the trooper echo accusations from a number of different former Cuomo aides, including Charlotte Bennett. The five-month investigation into Cuomo, which concerned 179 witness interviews, additionally discovered that he “routinely” interacted with girls in a means they discovered humiliating and fostered a poisonous work setting.
“I’ve at all times stated my workplace is a demanding place to work and it’s not for everybody. We work actually, actually laborious,” Cuomo responded to the allegations on Tuesday.