Report Finds NY Gov Cuomo Harassed Multiple Women

by Julie Scagell
Seth Wenig-Pool/Getty

The report found all 11 women’s claims were credible

A new report released today by Letitia James, the state attorney general, found New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has sexually harassed multiple women, violating federal and state law. The report comes after a four-month investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment and creating a toxic workplace environment.

The 165-page report found Cuomo sexually harassed current and former government workers, breaking state and federal laws and “created a hostile work environment.” The harassment ranged from unwanted touching, inappropriate comments, and nonconsensual touching of “intimate body parts.”

The investigators said 11 women had accused Cuomo and interviewed 179 witnesses and collected thousands of documents to corroborate the claims. “We found all 11 women to be credible,” employment lawyer Anne Clark said of the report. “There was corroboration to various degrees.”

According to the report, the governor retaliated against at least one woman who went public with her claims, Lindsey Boylan, by creating an unpublished memo that attacked Boylan with conspiracy theories including that she was being funded by far-right supporters of Donald Trump. Boylan went on record stating Cuomo suggested they play “strip poker” on a plane while on a work trip together and kissed her on the lips in his office.

While the public knew of many of the allegations against the Democratic governor, the report also contains two previously unreported allegations of sexual harassment, including an unnamed female state trooper and an employee of an energy company.

“Governor Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of both federal and state laws,” James said. “The independent investigation found that Governor Cuomo harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments.”

To date, Cuomo has refused to step down from his position and has repeatedly denied many of the claims, only apologizing if his actions made the women “feel uncomfortable.”

The report did not find that Cuomo’s actions should be subject to criminal prosecution.

James said the report revealed “a deeply disturbing, yet clear picture” and “conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government and shines light on injustice that can be present at the highest levels of government.”

The investigation, which specifically pushed back against Cuomo’s defense that his conduct was nothing more than “customary,” friendly gestures, concluded that Cuomo created a hostile work environment “rife with bullying, fear, and intimidation.”

Carl Heastie, the speaker of the State Assembly, said that the Assembly, which can choose to impeach Cuomo, would undertake “an in-depth examination of the report and its corresponding exhibits. We will have more to say in the very near future.”

He continued: “The conduct by the governor outlined in this report would indicate someone who is not fit for office.”