Cuomo Says He Did Nothing Wrong After Shunning Media for Weeks
(Bloomberg) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, facing reporters’ questions in person for the first time in months, said that investigations of sexual-harassment allegations against him would find no misconduct because he “didn’t do anything wrong.”
The third-term Democrat flatly denied all accusations. He also insisted staff work on his “Leadership Lessons” book published last year was voluntary, and blamed politics for the federal investigation into his handling of Covid-19 nursing-home deaths.
“No,” Cuomo, 63, said on Monday when asked whether he harassed anyone. “To put it very simply, no.”
Cuomo was asked few questions on the topic of his press conference, an announcement that the State Fair would operate this year after being shut in 2020 because of Covid. The governor also announced expanded capacities for stadiums, gyms and offices as he touted lower Covid-19 hospitalizations and positive-test rates.
The governor has largely deflected questions about the probe overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James, saying he didn’t want to interfere. Cuomo on Monday said James was unlikely to find malfeasance: “The report can’t say anything different because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
The state Assembly in March announced its own investigation into the accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace impropriety, an alleged cover-up of Covid-19 nursing-home deaths, structural problems on a state bridge and the use of state resources for Cuomo’s book on the pandemic. The inquiry is the first step toward impeachment proceedings.
“Everyone who worked on the book volunteered,” the governor said Monday. “I didn’t have them sign a volunteer form, if that’s what you’re asking.”
Cuomo also is facing federal investigations into the state’s handling of nursing home deaths. Critics say his administration forced nursing homes to take Covid-infected residents back from hospitals and undercounted their deaths to make the state look more successful. He once again denied the allegations Monday, and claimed the probe was the result of Trump-era politics.
“Federal government then started an investigation on Democratic states, just Democratic states, on nursing homes,” Cuomo said. “The political blame game, the federal government then actually turned into an investigation.”
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