New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democratic Party heavyweight whose name has consistently sounded like a possible presidential candidate, sexually harassed at least 11 women for years and retaliated against anyone who publicly complained, a comprehensive independent investigation commissioned has concluded. by the Prosecutor’s Office as a result of the first public complaints. Actions attributed to Cuomo include physical abuse, remarks, and intimidation; they violate federal and state laws and leave this patrician of American politics, son of the famous Governor Mario Cuomo and brother of CNN star Chris Cuomo, with a difficult scenario to move forward. The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has considered this afternoon that he should resign, but so far the governor has refused.
Since the scandal broke, Cuomo has always denied the allegations and refused to resign despite pressure from his own party. This Tuesday he did it again after the devastating report and the new resignation requests were publicly known. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, raised it in a statement. Biden has done the same in a press conference in the afternoon, leaving him completely alone. Cuomo has linked the entire process to low politics, which opens the door for the state legislature to launch a procedure of impeachment, that is, a parliamentary trial for his dismissal, a process that has already been raised pending the conclusions of the investigation.
The investigations have lasted for five months and have been carried out by two independent lawyers who have interviewed 179 people, reviewed 74,000 materials (emails, documents, messages, photographs) and interrogated the governor himself for 11 hours. The document prepared, of 165 pages, describes a toxic environment, of “fear and intimidation”, ideal for committing abuses with impunity. In total, 11 women have accused Cuomo of harassment situations of varying degrees, nine of them current or former employees. Joon H. Kim, one of the two lawyers leading the case, stressed at a press conference: “Our investigation has revealed that these were not isolated incidents, but were part of a pattern of behavior.”
The press conference was devastating due to the meticulous narration of the events denounced. The attorney general, Letitia James, took the floor, calling the revelations obtained “disturbing” and affirming that the governor of New York had committed crimes – “he has violated state and federal laws,” she said. investigation is civil and some episodes have prescribed, leaving Cuomo in an impossible position. The investigators then detailed several of the cases. The report includes some acquaintances through the complaints that were made public between December and March, but also new ones, such as that of an agent of the state police force who requested to have her service after a brief meeting in 2017.
According to these police, Cuomo touched her on several occasions. He ran his hand over her stomach when she held the door for him, slid his finger down her back when he was in front of her in the elevator, kissed her on the cheek another time and asked why she wasn’t wearing a dress. An employee currently in his service, whose name has not been released, accused Cuomo of grabbing her breast at the official mansion last year.
Another, Charlotte Bennet, who was Cuomo’s assistant and had already denounced publicly, says that the governor asked her if she had relationships with older men and told her that he felt “alone” and that he wanted “to be touched.” For Lindsey Boylan, a former employee of the economic development department, Cuomo touched her legs and waist, kissed her on the lips and cheek, and once proposed to play tag. strip poker, secjoin the report. Virignia Limmatis, a worker for an energy company, stated that she touched her breast at an event in 2017.
Apart from the specific cases, the report describes a climate of sexual discrimination against women. “There was a culture where you couldn’t say ‘no’ to the governor, and if he or some of his senior officials got angry, they could dismiss you, sideline you or worse,” Kim said.
Andrew Cuomo denies the allegations in a video posted on his social media.
Cuomo, 63, lived a 2020 of media glory due to his great communication skills in the crisis of the pandemic, but between the end of that year and the beginning of 2021 two serious crises began to emerge: the data falsified to hide the mismanagement of nursing homes and the first public complaints of harassment. In March, a dozen New York Democratic lawmakers, including prominent Chuck Schumer, Senate Leader Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Jerry Nadler called for his resignation. Cuomo defended his innocence and called for an independent investigation.
The conclusions of this have just been made public and have not changed the position of the politician. The governor addressed the public in a recorded video message in which he insisted on his innocence: “I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” he said, adding that “politics and bias “are present” in every aspect of this situation. ” “One would be naive not to see it, and New Yorkers are not naive.” He quoted his father, the late Governor Mario Cuomo: “He used to say that politics is a dirty business, he was right, as usual.”