The New York State Assembly released a long-awaited report documenting alleged abuses of power by former Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
According to the report from the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, the disgraced Governor engaged in repeated sexual harassment deployed state resources in service of his multimillion-dollar book project, and was not forthcoming about nursing home COVID deaths.
The eight-month impeachment probe determined that the evidence of Cuomo’s sexual misconduct is “overwhelming,” adding support to the bombshell state attorney general’s report, released in August, that found he had sexually harassed at least 11 women, putting him on a path to resignation.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove), who sent the new report and a letter outlining its findings to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), said in a statement that the behavior described in the report “is extremely disturbing and is indicative of someone who is not fit for office.”
“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,” Lavine said in the statement. “New Yorkers deserve no less.”
The Assembly announced the launch of the impeachment investigation in March when a chorus of sexual harassment allegations against the Governor was growing.
The report published on Monday, November 22, suggested the Assembly lacks “jurisdiction” to impeach a governor who has already left office, potentially sparing Cuomo a humiliating public penalty that would prevent him from running for office again. Still, the probe produced a damning denouncement that could put a damper on any future campaign.
The impeachment investigation focused particularly on two of Cuomo’s dozen accusers: an unnamed state trooper and Brittany Commisso, a former executive assistant whose groping accusation led to a misdemeanor sex crime charge against the fallen Governor.
The report said the experiences of both accusers “independently satisfies the definition of sexual harassment under New York State law.” It described Cuomo’s misconduct as “extensive” and said he did not “meaningfully” respond to records requests from the Assembly.
Cuomo, a 63-year-old Democrat, has vigorously denied accusations of sexual misconduct. Rita Glavin, his lawyer, said in a statement that the Assembly had failed to provide Cuomo access to all the evidence and claimed that he was denied “due process and a meaningful ability to respond.”
The Assembly committee also has worked with law enforcement authorities in relation to the probe of Cuomo’s book bout his stewardship of the state during the coronavirus crisis, titled “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” According to the report, the production of the memoir may amount to a violation of ethics laws.
The Assembly committee is also cooperating with law enforcement on the issue of COVID nursing home death tallies from Cuomo’s administration. The data became a sticking point for Cuomo last January after state Attorney General Letitia James issued a report detailing incomplete data released by the state.
The report concluded that Cuomo and his staff “were not fully transparent with the public regarding the number of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents.”