A five-month investigation found that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed several women and violated state and federal laws while creating a “climate of fear” in the workplace, said Tuesday (3) State Attorney General Letitia James.
Investigation showed Cuomo groped, kissed and kissed women without their consent and made inappropriate comments, James said at a press conference, adding that the governor’s office has become a “toxic workplace. “which allowed” the harassment to occur “.
According to the prosecutor, the governor and senior advisers retaliated against at least one former employee who exposed the incident.
“Specifically, the investigation found that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed former employees and employees who still work for New York State by touching them without consent and making numerous offensive comments,” James said. .
Cuomo’s office did not immediately comment on the outcome of the investigation. The 63-year-old governor has denied the charges.
Investigators spoke to 179 people, including whistleblowers and current and former cabinet members, James said. According to her, the investigation resulted in a “clear and deeply disturbing picture” of what she called a “climate of fear” in which Cuomo sexually harassed several women, many of whom are young.
The prosecutor opened the independent investigation after receiving a formal request from Cuomo’s office on March 1, when the number of public allegations regarding the issue increased, putting his management and political future at risk.
James, who is a Democrat, has hired an outside law firm to conduct a civil investigation into the allegations.
During his third term as governor and which was nationally acclaimed last year in the early months of the pandemic, Cuomo was forced to resign by party colleagues and threatened with impeachment earlier this year due to sexual harassment investigations, but he denied it would quit.
On March 3, in his first public statement since the scandal, he said he was ashamed of his actions and apologized but said he would not resign. “Now I understand that I acted in a way that made others uncomfortable,” he said. “It wasn’t intentional, and I really and deeply apologize for it. I feel very bad about it and frankly ashamed, and it’s not easy to say, but it’s the truth. “
“I have never touched anyone inappropriately,” said the governor. “I didn’t know at the time that I was making someone uncomfortable. And I certainly didn’t want to offend, hurt or hurt anyone. It’s the last thing I want to do.”
Virtually no official came to Cuomo’s defense, and most Democrats have repeatedly called for an independent investigation into the allegations.