Investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James concluded earlier this week that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in violation of state and federal law.
James had noted her investigation was civil but opened the door for other agencies to investigate behavior she said qualified as criminal in nature.
On Friday, an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo identified in the attorney general probe as "executive assistant #1" filed a criminal complaint with the Albany County Sheriff's Office, a spokesperson for the sheriff confirmed Friday.
CUOMO UNDER FIRE
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The complaint was filed a day earlier and, if the allegations prove true, the governor could be arrested.
In response to the latest development, Cuomo's advisors referred News 4 New York to a section of their legal response which states: “This claim is false, as the Governor has stated repeatedly and unequivocally.”
Here is what we know of the allegations made public in the attorney general report:
- According to the independent report, the governor engaged in what they call a pattern of inappropriate behavior dating back to late 2019 involving Executive Assistant #1.
- The report says the behavior included, “close and intimate hugs; kisses on the cheeks, forehead, and at least one kiss on the lips; touching and grabbing of Executive Assistant #1’s butt during hugs and, on one occasion, while taking selfies with him; and comments and jokes by the Governor about Executive Assistant #1’s personal life and relationships, including calling her and another assistant “mingle mamas,” inquiring multiple times about whether she had cheated or would cheat on her husband, and asking her to help find him a girlfriend.”
- Ultimately, in November 2020 the Governor’s behavior escalated when he hugged the woman and then allegedly reached under her blouse and grabbed her breast, according to the report.
- The report says, “Executive Assistant #1 kept this groping incident to herself and planned to take it “to the grave,” but found herself becoming emotional (in a way that was visible to her colleagues in the Executive Chamber) while watching the Governor state, at a press conference on March 3, 2021, that he had never “touched anyone inappropriately.”
- One of the reasons the independent investigators say that the woman didn’t want to report the conduct was because of what she saw happen to Lindsey Boylan after she went public with her allegations.
- The report says, “in mid-to-late December 2020, Executive Assistant #1 personally witnessed what she felt were the Executive Chamber’s efforts to discredit the allegations of Ms. Boylan against the Governor, including by repeatedly describing Ms. Boylan as “crazy” and by trying to get Ms. Boylan’s personnel files to the press.”
- She told investigators that the efforts to discredit Boylan – which she says she personally witnessed – were conducted by Linda Lacewell (Superintendent of Financial Services), Melissa DeRosa, Rich Azzopardi, and Beth Garvey.
- The investigators write, they found Executive Assistant #1 “to be credible both in demeanor and in the substance of her allegations.”
- And they write, “Governor Cuomo denied a number of Executive Assistant #1’s allegations, but we found that his denials lacked persuasiveness, were devoid of detail, and were inconsistent with many witnesses’ observations of his behavior toward Executive Assistant #1 and other women in the Executive Chamber.”
The Governor has denied all of the allegations involving Executive Assistant #1 saying earlier this week, “that never happened” and that he welcomed a potential civil suit from the woman because “I welcome the opportunity for a full and fair review before a judge and a jury, because this just did not happen.”