New York governor Andrew Cuomo groped, kissed or made suggestive remarks to 11 women, including employees, the state's attorney general Letitia James said on Tuesday, 3 August, as she announced the findings of an independent investigation into allegations against the Democrat.
James said, "The independent investigation has concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so, violated federal and state law," news agency AFP reported.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said, “I think he should resign,” Reuters reported.
While Cuomo has used a photo with Biden to defend his 'embraces', Biden responding to that and said, "I'm sure there are some embraces that were totally innocent. But apparently the attorney general decided there were things that weren't."
What Did the State’s Attorney General Letitia James Say?
Saying that the evidence and the report of the investigation would be made public, James said that Cuomo was found to have 'sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous comments of a suggestive sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women'.
Moreover, Cuomo's office even took retaliatory action against one former employee for going public against the Democrat.
Additionally, at least eight women have condemned what they said were inappropriate words and gestures from Cuomo.
One former employee said Cuomo slipped his hand under her blouse last year, AFP reported.
The Investigation Report
James said that the investigators had spoken to 179 people, as the probe revealed a 'climate of fear' where Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women.
It was revealed that one of the women Cuomo targeted was a state trooper. The report uncovered that the governor stood behind the woman in an elevator and 'ran his finger from her neck down her spine and said, 'Hey you'," Reuters reported.
As per Anne Clark, one of the two lawyers who ran the inquiry, the trooper said Cuomo inappropriately touched her from 'her chest to her privates'.
The investigation was run by a former federal prosecutor Joon Kim, and acting US attorney in Manhattan, and Clark, an employment lawyer with experience in sexual harassment cases.
Andrew Cuomo’s Defense
Cuomo put out a video statement denying the allegations and defending himself, saying, "I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. I am 63 years old. I've lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am. And that's not who I have ever been,” Reuters reported.
David Soares, the district attorney for Albany County, has opened an investigation to see if Cuomo’s conduct rose to the level of a crime.
Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, said in a statement, “As always, I commend the women who came forward to speak their truth...Recognizing his love of New York and the respect for the office he holds, I call upon the governor to resign,” The New York Times reported.
Saying that the 'facts are much different from what has been portrayed', Cuomo has vowed to stay in office, calling the report biased.
(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)
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