Cuomo Harassment Findings Draw Scrutiny From Local Prosecutors
(Bloomberg) -- Andrew Cuomo is facing possible criminal investigations in four New York counties after the state attorney general released a damning report finding the governor sexually harassed 11 women and created a “climate of fear” in his offices.
District attorneys in Manhattan as well as Westchester, Nassau and Albany counties have all requested information from New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office about instances of misconduct that may have taken place in their jurisdictions.
Under New York law, the attorney general has limited ability to bring criminal charges, but James said in a press conference Tuesday that local district attorneys could follow up on her office’s findings and pursue their own cases against Cuomo. P. David Soare, the district attorney for Albany, the state capital, took her up on the offer within hours.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. sought information on Cuomo’s misconduct on Wednesday. In a letter to Serena Longley, James’s deputy general counsel, Vance’s office noted that two incidents in her report took place in Manhattan, where the governor has an office.
‘Potential Sex Crimes’
According to James’s report, Cuomo tapped and then grabbed the buttocks of an employee of a state-affiliated entity while posing for a picture with her at a 2019 event in the city. Vance’s office also sought information on an incident involving a female state trooper whom the governor had singled out to serve on his security detail. According to the report, Cuomo stood behind the trooper in an elevator servicing his Manhattan office, touched her neck and then ran his finger down her spine before saying, “Hey, you.”
Cuomo has denied all of the allegations in the attorney general’s report.
In the Wednesday letter, Chief Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Nitin Savur asked Longley for contact details for the trooper and the woman from the 2019 event.
“In order to properly investigate these potential sex crimes, it is necessary for us to speak with the two victims,” Savur wrote.
Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah noted in her Wednesday letter that some of Cuomo’s misconduct involving the same trooper appeared to take place in her jurisdiction.
“I believe it is appropriate for my Office to conduct a further inquiry to determine if any of the reported conduct that is alleged to have occurred in Westchester County is criminal in nature,” Rocah wrote.
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