Investigation Finds ‘Overwhelming Evidence’ Against Cuomo
A new investigation found “overwhelming evidence” that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) sexually harassed women.
“The former governor’s conduct — as shown in this report — is extremely disturbing and is indicative of someone who is not fit for office,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Lavine (D) said.
Investigators at Davis Polk & Wardwell, a law firm hired by the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, compiled the findings, which also showed that he ordered state employees to help produce his book on pandemic leadership during work hours.
Additionally, the probe found that Cuomo’s staff “substantially revised” a state health department report on nursing home COVID-19 deaths to exclude statistics that might have sullied his reputation as a pandemic leader.
The report’s sections on sexual harassment largely echo allegations made in a previous report by the state’s attorney general last summer.
“We conclude that there is overwhelming evidence that the former Governor engaged in sexual harassment,” the report says.
However, new details did emerge around the $5.2 million private deal Cuomo struck to write a book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons on the Pandemic.
According to the Associated Press, Cuomo had pledged to state ethics officials that the book wouldn’t use any state resources. However, investigators found evidence that the former governor had his staff spend hoards of time on the project.
“One senior state official explained that book-related assignments were given by superiors and expected to be completed, and the work was not voluntary,” the report said. “Another senior state official complained in a text message to a colleague that work on the book was compromising the official’s ability to work on COVID-related matters.”
Junior and senior staff told investigators they were made to work on book-related tasks during their shifts, including transcribing dictations, printing and delivering documents, and attending meetings with agents and publishers.
According to the investigation, one senior official sent and received 1,000 emails regarding the book. The AP reported this individual as Cuomo’s former top aide, Melissa DeRosa.