At least four district attorneys offices in New York have requested additional investigative information from the state’s probe into sexual harassment allegations against Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying they need the materials to determine whether incidents that occurred in their jurisdictions amount to criminal actions.
The investigation’s report, released Tuesday by state Attorney General Letitia James, found that Cuomo harassed 11 women, including current and former state employees, as well as women outside of state government. Investigators repeatedly described Cuomo’s conduct as “unlawful,” though a footnote in the report said that it was not reaching a conclusion as to “whether the conduct amounts to or should be the subject of criminal prosecution.”
But shortly after the report’s findings were released, Albany County’s district attorney said his office would be requesting investigative materials obtained by James, while the offices for district attorneys in Westchester County, Nassau County and Manhattan made similar announcements Wednesday.
The requests demonstrate that officials across the state have no intention of moving on from the damning report, which led to calls for Cuomo’s resignation from powerful Democrats, including President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. Another blow to the governor’s support came Wednesday when New York state and Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs also urged Cuomo to step down, saying he “has lost his ability to govern, both practically and morally.”
Cuomo has denied the investigation’s findings and has shown no willingness to resign over them. He has frequently accused the probe as being politically motivated.
“I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo said Tuesday in a speech shortly after the report was released, reiterating a position he has held for months.
“We will be formally requesting investigative materials obtained by the AG’s Office, and we welcome any victim to contact our office with additional information,” Albany County District Attorney David Soares said in a statement, adding his office is conducting an ongoing criminal investigation into the matter.
Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah formally requested materials from the state’s report in a letter sent Wednesday to James, noting that one of the incidents occurred in her county.
“I believe it is appropriate for my office to conduct a further inquiry to determine if any of the reported conduct that is alleged to have occurred in Westchester County is criminal in nature,” the letter states.
Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce A. Smith also requested information from James, writing in a letter to the attorney general that the county “will thoroughly and expeditiously investigate any potential crimes” committed there by the governor.
And the district attorney’s office in New York County, which encompasses Manhattan, also sent a letter to James’ office seeking additional investigatory materials from two state employees who alleged unwanted, inappropriate touching by Cuomo in order to “properly investigate these potential sex crimes.”
The state employees include a state trooper who served on Cuomo’s protective detail and said that on one occasion, Cuomo ran his finger down her neck and back while they were in an elevator. On another occasion, he ran his hand from her belly button to her right hip while she was holding the door for him, according to the report.
The report states that in his testimony, Cuomo denied that he ever purposely touched the Trooper on her stomach or ran his fingers down her back. The trooper who made the allegations against Cuomo is still employed by New York State Police but is no longer part of his protective detail, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN.
The other state employee told investigators that Cuomo put his hand on, tapped and then grabbed her buttocks at an event where he had been speaking in New York City in September 2019.
Cuomo testified that he could not recall the event and denied that he touched anyone on the buttocks at the event, the report states.
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