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The New York state Assembly Judiciary Committee said Monday it found “overwhelming evidence” that disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo engaged in sexual harassment while in office, concluding an eight-month impeachment investigation into multiple allegations of misconduct.
The judiciary committee’s 60-page report, which detailed the investigation by law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, said Cuomo “engaged in multiple instances of sexual harassment, including by creating a hostile work environment and engaging in sexual misconduct.”
The investigation consisted of hundreds of interviews of relevant witnesses as well as a review of tens of thousands of documents, including emails, text messages, photographs, recordings of phone calls, social media accounts and video recordings, the report said.
Cuomo, who resigned in August after the state attorney general’s report saying he sexually harassed 11 women, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
“We have reviewed the former governor’s challenges to the allegations, and nothing in his voluminous submissions can overcome the overwhelming evidence of his misconduct,” the report said.
The report also found that Cuomo tasked top state officials with helping him develop his book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” and that one senior official even complained in a text message to a colleague that working on the book was compromising his or her ability to work on COVID-related matters.
The former governor “utilized state resources and property, including work by Executive Chamber staff, to write, publish, and promote his book regarding his handling of the COVID-19 crisis – a project for which he was guaranteed at least $5.2 million in personal profit,” the report said.
Investigators also found that the Cuomo administration “was not fully transparent” with the American people about the number of nursing home residents who died as a result of COVID-19, and that out-of-facility deaths were deliberately left out of a published state Department of Health report, which Cuomo had a significant hand in editing and revising after he faced criticism for his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic.
Cuomo’s attorney, Rita Glavin, issued a statement Monday slamming the Assembly for not sharing the findings with him before releasing the report.
“The Assembly’s report simply parrots the Attorney General’s flawed report, failing to engage with the many errors and omissions in the AG’s report and her one-sided, biased investigation,” she said. “And, like the AG, the Assembly refused to provide the former Governor with access to all the evidence, again denying the Governor due process and a meaningful ability to respond. This is disappointing, but hardly surprising.”
Charles Lavine, a Democrat who chairs the judiciary committee, said the investigation was conducted “with extreme diligence and thoughtfulness.”
“The former governor’s conduct – as shown in this report – is extremely disturbing and is indicative of someone who is not fit for office,” Lavine said in a statement. “I hope this report helps New Yorkers further understand the seriousness of the allegations that have been made and serves to guide us to a more ethical and responsible government. New Yorkers deserve no less.”