Cuomo Gets Some Bad News From the DOJ

Agency finds former New York governor sexually harassed 13 employees over 8-year period
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2024 9:30 AM CST
DOJ Finds Cuomo Sexually Harassed 13 Employees
Then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to board a helicopter after announcing his resignation on Aug. 10, 2021, in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has so far escaped any criminal charges related to accusations of sexual misconduct against him, but he likely won't be pleased with the upshot of a now-concluded Department of Justice probe. As part of a Friday civil rights settlement with New York state, the DOJ found that Cuomo had sexually harassed 13 female employees between 2013 and 2021, creating a "sexually hostile work environment." The agency says that Cuomo and staffers "engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against female employees based on sex" and then retaliated against the women.

Cuomo himself "repeatedly subjected these female employees to unwelcome, nonconsensual sexual contact," including ogling, unwelcome sexual remarks, gender-based nicknames, and remarks about their appearance, the DOJ says. "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," a DOJ spokeswoman said in a statement, per Politico.

Cuomo has long denied any wrongdoing, and his legal team is now pushing back at the probe's findings. "The DOJ 'investigation' was based entirely on the NYS Attorney General's deeply flawed, inaccurate, biased, and misleading report," attorney Rita Glavin said in a statement. "At no point did DOJ even contact Governor Cuomo concerning these matters. This is nothing more than a political settlement with no investigation." Cuomo had previously slammed New York Attorney General Letitia James for her own probe, which found he'd sexually harassed 11 women, claiming James wanted to force him out of office so she could run for governor herself.

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In a statement, James' office says, "Andrew Cuomo can continue to deny the truth and attack these women, but the facts do not lie." Lindsey Boylan, one of Cuomo's accusers, also offered her thoughts, writing on X: "These things happened to me and other women. And then a huge bureaucracy tried to bury us for telling the truth. Never again will I ever let anyone or any system harm me and other women that way." The AP notes that, as part of the settlement, New York state will offer employees further training on reporting discrimination and harassment, as well as set up access to an independent law firm where staffers can log complaints against senior officials. (More Andrew Cuomo stories.)

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