Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at least 13 state staffers over a span of eight years while he was governor of New York, the Justice Department announced on Friday.
The revelation comes as part of an agreement to settle the DOJ’s sexual misconduct investigation into Cuomo, and largely confirms the findings of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ own damning probe into Cuomo’s conduct, which led to the political scion’s resignation in 2021.
The DOJ agreement released Friday concludes that Cuomo led a “sexually hostile work environment” in which he “repeatedly subjected” women to non-consensual contact and other inappropriate conduct, and that retaliation was visited upon anyone who complained about his behavior.
“The conduct in the executive chamber under the former governor, the state’s most powerful elected official, was especially egregious because of the stark power differential involved and the victims’ lack of avenues to report and redress harassment,” U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke said in a statement.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied doing anything wrong. He called James’ investigation “flawed,” “unfair,” and “politically motivated” in announcing his resignation in August of 2021, insisting he was only stepping aside in order to “let government get back to government.”
Rita Glavin, an attorney for Cuomo, similarly smeared James’ probe on Friday, calling it “deeply flawed, inaccurate, biased, and misleading report,” and alleging it was the basis for the DOJ’s investigation.
In addition to detailing its findings about Cuomo’s behavior, the DOJ’s agreement lists workplace reforms that current New York Governor Kathy Hochul has implemented since her predecessor left office.
“The moment I took office, I knew I needed to root out the culture of harassment that had previously plagued the Executive Chamber and implement strong policies to promote a safe workplace for all employees, and took immediate action to do so,” Hochul said in a statement. “I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice has acknowledged the significance of those efforts, and look forward to partnering with them as we continue to build upon that success.”
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