NY State Attorney General has completed her office's investigation of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo concerning sexual harassment allegations lodged against him from current and former female employees and concluded that the Governor broke federal and state laws in harassing the women.
Letitia James, the state attorney general, said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo created a toxic workplace environment and retaliated against at least one woman for making her complaints public.
According to the NY Times, "The 165-page report said that Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, and his aides cultivated a toxic work culture in his office that was rife with fear and intimidation, and helped enable “harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.”
The report included at least two previously unreported allegations of sexual harassment from women who accused Mr. Cuomo of improperly touching them, including an unnamed female state trooper and an employee of an energy company. And it highlighted at least one instance in which Mr. Cuomo and his aides retaliated against one of the women who made her allegations public."
Cuomo, who had been a candidate for an influential position in the Biden administration now faces an uncertain future. He may face impeachment in the Democrat-controlled state legislature or decide not to run for a fourth term as governor. Either way, the report is a damning indictment of a once powerful and highly influential state governor whose political ambitions went beyond the confines of Albany.
The Times reports, "The investigation was conducted by two outside lawyers hired by Ms. James: Joon H. Kim, a former top federal prosecutor, and Anne L. Clark, a well-known employment lawyer.
On Tuesday, Mr. Kim said their investigation revealed “a pattern” of behavior from Mr. Cuomo and found that the culture within the executive chamber “contributed to “conditions that allowed the governor’s sexually harassing conduct to occur and to persist.”
“It was a culture where you could not say no to the governor and if you upset him or his senior staff you would be written off, cast aside or worse,” Mr. Kim said. “But at the same time the witnesses described a culture that normalized and overlooked everyday flirtations, physical intimacy and inappropriate comments by the governor.”