© Reuters. File picture: On May 24, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a statement during a press conference at Jones Beach State Park in Vantaa, New York, USA. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Author: Jonathan Allen and Nathan Lane
New York (Reuters)-The New York State Attorney General said that an investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s allegations of sexual harassment found that he had fumbled, kissed or made suggestive comments on 11 women and violated the law Created a “toxic” workplace. On Tuesday, the White House called these accusations abhorrent.
In a taped statement issued after Attorney General Letitia James announced the results of a five-month independent investigation, Cuomo denied that he had acted improperly and made it clear that he had no plans to resign. Civil investigations will not directly lead to criminal charges against Cummer.
Cuomo, the third Democratic governor who has held the position since 2011, called the findings inaccurate and unfair, and said that his words, gestures, and behavior were misunderstood, and he always wanted to convey warmth to women.
The results of the investigation, detailed in a harsh 168-page report, could cause a devastating blow to Cuomo (who was considered a possible presidential candidate) and hinder his government.
“This investigation reveals the disturbing behavioral patterns of the governor of New York State,” said Democrat James. “These 11 women are in a hostile and toxic work environment.”
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters that Democratic President Joe Biden had previously stated that if the investigation shows that the allegations are true, Cuomo should resign and plans to respond later in the day. .
“I didn’t know anyone would watch (James’ briefing) this morning without finding these accusations abhorrent. I know I did,” Psaki said.
The report’s findings prompted some U.S. lawmakers and New York Democratic veterans to demand Cuomo’s resignation, highlighting the rapid downfall of the governor who became a nationally popular governor at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. He reported on the Daily News Lieutenant present himself as an authority figure in the TV press conference.
According to reports, one of the women Cuomo targeted was a state police officer. Anne Clark, who helped with the investigation, said that Cuomo stood behind the soldier in the elevator, “slid his fingers from her neck to the spine, and said,’Hey, you.’” She had a gun in her hip,” Clark added. According to Clark, the police officer said that Cuomo had touched her inappropriately from “breast to private parts.”
Cuomo, the divorced father of three adult daughters, said that if his actions were misunderstood by the accused, he was sorry but denied wrongdoing. He said that he will not be “distracted” from his work in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which shows that he has no intention of resigning.
“I want you to know directly from me that I have never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual teases,” Cuomo said. “I am 63 years old. I have spent my entire adult life in public view. That’s not me. That’s not what I used to be.”
“The facts are very different from what is portrayed,” Cuomo added.
As a spokesperson for the Democratic Party-controlled New York Congress, Karl Hesti, who has authorized an impeachment investigation into Cuomo’s actions, called the report’s findings “disturbing” and said they pointed out “people who are not suitable for public office.”
Senate Majority Leader André Stewart Cousins said that Cuomo should “resign for the benefit of the country”.
James said that investigators spoke with 179 people. She said the investigation revealed a “climate of fear” in which Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, and showed that his office had retaliated against a former employee who accused him of wrongdoing.
‘Bullying is prevalent’
James appointed two senior outside lawyers to investigate: former federal prosecutor and Manhattan acting US prosecutor Jin Jun and employment lawyer Clark, who has extensive experience in sexual harassment cases.
King said that Cuomo’s workplace is “full of bullying, fear, and intimidation.” In this case, interacting with him or his senior employees means you will be “eliminated, abandoned, or worse.”
The report refutes Cuomo’s claim that his behavior is an innocent reflection of the affectionate Italian-American culture he grew up with. Investigators found that his “general denial and lack of recollection of specific events” had little credibility.
The report concluded: “These witnesses-and many others-describe more than old-fashioned, affectionate behavior-it is sexual harassment.”
Rita Glavin, a lawyer defending Cuomo’s sexual harassment complaint, responded to the report by issuing a lengthy “position statement” in which she said the statement “deliberately omitted key evidence.” Gravin accused James of being biased.
The statement contained several pages of photos of Cuomo hugging or kissing famous political figures, including Biden, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Gore. It also includes multiple photos of Cuomo kissing his late father, who was also the governor.