New York Attorney General Letitia James said Tuesday that an independent investigation found Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had sexually harassed multiple women.
James, also a Democrat, gave a press conference to conclude the investigation, saying that after speaking to dozens of witnesses and reviewing evidence from multiple sources, investigators determined that Cuomo had subjected employees to offensive and sexually charged comments or unwanted touching as well as pressure campaigns to keep them quiet. She concluded that in so doing, the governor had violated both state and federal law. (RELATED: Cuomo Set To Be Questioned In Sexual Harassment Probe: REPORT)
“The independent investigation has concluded that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and violated federal and state law,” James began. “The investigation found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”
James went on to say that the independent investigators had spoken to the alleged victims as well as dozens of other witnesses — and had reviewed hundreds of emails and text messages as well.
“The investigators corroborated and substantiated these facts through interviews and evidence, including contemporaneous notes and communications. This evidence will be made available to the public along with the report,” James added. “This investigation was started after a number of women publicly alleged that they had been sexually harassed by Gov. Cuomo.”
“The independent investigation found that Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments,” James added, noting that in addition to the harassment, the governor had engaged in retaliation against anyone who threatened to come forward with allegations against him.
“The governor and his senior team took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee for coming forward with her story, her truth. Gov. Cuomo’s administration fostered a toxic workplace that enabled harassment and created a hostile work environment where staffers did not feel comfortable coming forward with complaints about sexual harassment due to a climate of fear and given the power dynamics,” she said.
“The investigators found that Cuomo’s actions and those of the executive chamber violated multiple state and federal laws as well as the executive chamber’s own written policies,” James continued. “This investigation has revealed 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.”
James concluded by thanking the women who had been brave enough to come forward with their stories, saying that none of this would have ever come to light if they had not been willing to come forward.
“None of this — none of this would have been illuminated if not for the heroic women who came forward. And I am inspired by all the brave women who came forward. But more importantly, I believe them. And I thank them for their bravery,” she said. “And I thank the independent investigators for their professionalism despite the attacks. And for their dogged determination that brought us to the truth.”