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New York AG: Gov. Cuomo accused of sexually harassing employees

Aug 03, 2021

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President Joe Biden is calling for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign after Tuesday’s announcement regarding the state’s sexual harassment investigation.

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday an investigation found New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and retaliated against one for speaking publicly. According to the 165-page report, Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, including current and former government workers, breaking state and federal laws and engaging in a pattern of unwanted touching and inappropriate comments.

The video above shows James laying out the allegations and a separate clip of Gov. Cuomo responding to them.

“The independent investigation found that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging and by making inappropriate comments,” James said. “The governor and his senior team took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee for coming forward with her story, her truth. And 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.”

The report centered on allegations made by 11 women, nine of whom are current and former state employees.

In a Tuesday news conference, lawyers leading the investigation went into more details about the specific allegations. “Some suffered through unwanted touching and grabbing of their most intimate body parts,” Joon Kim said. “Others suffered through repeated offensive, sexually suggestive or gender-based comments. A number of them endured both. None of them welcomed it and all of them found it disturbing, humiliating, uncomfortable and inappropriate.”

“Employees recounted a pattern of similarly offensive comments and conversations, such as the governor repeatedly asking executive assistant number one whether she would cheat on her husband, saying to her, ‘If you were single, the things I would do to you,” Anne Clark said. “Women also describe to us having the governor seek them out, stare intently at them, look them up and down, or gaze at their chest or butt.”

In his response to the news conference, Cuomo denied the allegations. “I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo said. “I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am and that’s not who I have ever been.”

Attorneys for the women involved are asking for Cuomo’s resignation.

Letitia James, New York Attorney General: “Over the course of the five month investigation, the investigators spoke to 179 individuals, including complainants, current and former members of the executive chamber, state troopers, additional state employees and others who interacted regularly with the government. In addition, they reviewed more than 74,000 pieces of evidence, including documents, emails, texts, audio files and pictures.”

“These interviews and pieces of evidence reveal a deeply disturbing yet clear picture, Governor Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of both federal and state laws.”

“The independent investigation found that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging and by making inappropriate comments.”

“The governor and his senior team took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee for coming forward with her story, her truth. And 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.”

“The investigators found the Governor Cuomo’s actions and those of the executive chamber violated multiple state and federal laws, as well as the executive chamber’s own written policies. This investigation has revealed conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government and shines light on injustice that can be present at the highest levels of government.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, (D) New York: “Over the past several months, you have heard a number of complaints brought against me. I called for an independent review and I said at the beginning I would let the process unfold. I didn’t want anyone to say that I interfered. I said I would hold my tongue and I have making only limited comments. It has been a hard and a painful period for me and my family, especially as others feed ugly stories to the press. But I cooperated with the review and I can now finally share the truth. My attorney, who is a nonpolitical former federal prosecutor, has done a response to each allegation, and the facts are much different than what has been portrayed. That document is available on my website. If you are interested, please take the time to read the facts and decide for yourself. First, I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am and that’s not who I have ever been.”


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