NEW YORK -- Attorney General Letitia James released the the findings of her inquiry into allegations against Andrew Cuomo Tuesday, concluding that the governor sexually harassed multiple women and attempted to retaliate against an accuser who came forward.
The nearly five-month investigation found that the Cuomo administration was a "hostile work environment" and that it was "rife with fear and intimidation."
According to the investigation, conducted by former federal prosecutor Joon Kim and employment discrimination attorney Anne Clark, Cuomo "engaged in the following forms of offensive touching, among others":
Executive Assistant #1
--On November 16, 2020, the governor hugged Executive Assistant #1 and then reached under her blouse and grabbed her breast.
--On multiple occasions in 2019 and 2020, the governor engaged in close and intimate hugs with Executive Assistant #1 during which he, on occasion, grabbed her butt.
--On December 31, 2019, the governor took a "selfie" with Executive Assistant #1, during which he put his hand on and then rubbed and grabbed her butt.
--On one occasion in an elevator, the governor ran his finger down the center of Trooper #1's back from the top of her neck down the center of her spine, while saying, "Hey you."
--At an event on September 23, 2019, the governor touched Trooper #1 on the stomach, running his hand across it from her belly button to her right hip while she was holding a door open for him.
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State Entity Employee #1
--In September 2019, at an event in New York City where the governor spoke and then took pictures with certain of the attendees, the governor grabbed the butt of an employee of a State entity while having his picture taken with the employee.
Women Not Employed by the State
--There were complainants whose allegations are not of workplace harassment (because they were not employed by the State) who nonetheless were subjected to the governor's unwelcome, offensive, and physical conduct.
--In May 2017, at an event where the governor spoke and then greeted attendees, the governor pressed and ran his fingers across the chest of Virginia Limmiatis (who was attending the event for her job), while reading the name of her company (which was written across the chest).
--On the evening of September 14, 2019, at the wedding of one of his senior aides, the governor approached a guest, Anna Ruch, and put his hand on her back in an area where there was a cutout in the dress. After Ms. Ruch grabbed his wrist and removed his hand from her back, the governor remarked, "Wow, you're aggressive" and then proceeded to cup her face with his hands and kiss her after asking, "Can I kiss you?"
Hugs, Kisses, and Other Touching
--Over the years, the governor has hugged and kissed staff members in ways that made them uncomfortable or were unwelcome, including kissing Executive Assistant #1 at least once on the lips, kissing Ms. Boylan on the lips on one occasion, kissing Trooper #1 on the cheek in the presence of her colleague, a man, while she was working on the governor's protective detail, kissing various staff members (including Executive Assistant #1 and Ms. McGrath) on the cheeks and forehead, and engaging in uncomfortably close hugs with Executive Assistant #1.
--The governor also regularly touched staff members in ways that made them uncomfortable, including touching their arms, legs, and back, kissing their hands, squeezing their waists for pictures as Executive Assistant #1, Ms. Boylan, Ms. Liss, Ms. McGrath, and Kaitlin, among others, have described.
--In addition to the physical touching outlined above, the investigation found that the governor regularly engaged in conversation and conduct with Executive Chamber staff members and other State employees that were offensive and gender-based. Those conversations include, among others, the following:
--Over the course of a number of conversations, the governor made inappropriate and offensive comments of a sexual nature to Ms. Bennett, including: (1) in talking about potential girlfriends for him, telling her that he would be willing to date someone who was as young as 22 years old (knowing that she was 25 at the time); (2) asking her whether she had been with older men; (3) saying to her during the pandemic that he was "lonely" and wanted to be "touched;"1221 (4) telling her that he wanted to ride his motorcycle into the mountains with a woman; (5) asking whether she was monogamous and what she thought about monogamy; (6) joking about the size of his hands; (7) telling her that she should get a tattoo on her butt where it could not be seen; and (8) asking whether she had any piercings other than in her ears.
-- The governor also had detailed conversations with Ms. Bennett about her experiences with sexual assault, and did so in a way that, on certain occasions, made her feel extremely uncomfortable, as if he were "grooming" her.
--When Trooper #1 informed the governor that she was getting married, the governor asked her why she would want to get married, because "it always ends in divorce, and you lose money, and your sex drive goes down."
--On another occasion, after he had become single again, the governor discussed with Trooper #1 age differences in relationships, joking that she was "too old" for him. He then asked her what age difference for him and a girlfriend she thought would be acceptable to the public. When she asked what criteria he was looking for in a girlfriend, in order to deflect the conversation, the governor said he was looking for someone who "can handle pain."
--In September 2018, when told by Trooper #1 that she would be going to Albany for her sister's wedding, the governor made Trooper #1 uncomfortable by offering her a tour of the Governor's Mansion, "unless it (was) against protocols."
--In August 2019, the governor asked Trooper #1 why she did not wear a dress, to which Trooper #1 stated that she would have nowhere to put her gun. The governor also asked her why she only wore dark colors and on another occasion told her that her suit made her look like an "Amish person."
--On a number of occasions, the governor commented on Ms. Boylan's attractiveness, including comparing her appearance to that of an ex-girlfriend and on another occasion saying that she was more attractive than various actresses.
--The governor made comments and paid so much attention to Ms. Boylan that Mr. Zemsky, the CEO of ESD and Ms. Boylan's supervisor at the time, told her that he thought the governor had a "crush" on her and asked her if she wanted him to intervene in some way.
--On one occasion around 2017, when they were on an airplane, the governor stated jokingly to Ms. Boylan, "Let's play strip poker," to which Ms. Boylan responded in a sarcastic way to deflect the comment. Mr. Zemsky has testified that he recalled hearing this comment.
Executive Assistant #1 and Alyssa McGrath
--The governor had several conversations with Executive Assistant #1 about her personal life and her relationships, including, as described below, calling her and Ms. McGrath "mingle mamas"1230 and inquiring multiple times about whether she had cheated on or would cheat on her husband and asking her to help find him a girlfriend.
--The governor on a number of occasions asked Ms. McGrath about her personal life, including her marital status and divorce, saying that he wanted to "go out"1231 with Ms. McGrath and Executive Assistant #1 when they went out together.
--On one occasion, the governor asked whether Ms. McGrath would tell on Executive Assistant #1 if she were to cheat on her husband during a trip to Florida and then called them "mingle mamas"1232 for the rest of the day.
--On another occasion, the governor stared down Ms. McGrath's loose shirt and then commented on her necklace (which was inside her blouse) when Ms. McGrath looked up.
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--After Kaitlin joined the Executive Chamber, the governor instructed her to act like a "sponge" to soak up knowledge and then proceeded to call her by the name "sponge," a name that she found humiliating. The governor commented on her appearance on a number of occasions, including saying that an outfit she wore made her look like a "lumberjack" and asking on days she did not wear makeup, whether she "didn't get ready" for work.
--On one occasion, the governor asked Kaitlin to look up car parts on eBay on his computer while he sat directly behind her in his office, making her feel uncomfortable because she was wearing a skirt and heels.
--During the years that Ana Liss worked as an aide in the Executive Chamber from 2013 to 2015, the governor addressed her almost exclusively as "sweetheart" or "darling."
--On occasion, the governor kissed her on the cheeks and hand, touched and held her hands, and slid his hand around her lower waist.
-The governor commented on her appearance and asked her whether she had a boyfriend.
State Entity Employee #2
--In preparing for a press conference on March 17, 2020 during which he was to receive a live COVID-19 nasal swab, the governor made a joke about the manner in which State Entity Employee #2 would handle the test saying, "Gentle but accurate, (I've) heard that before." State Entity Employee #2 felt that the governor intended to convey a joke of an implied sexual nature. Then, at the press conference, in front of all of the press and cameras, the governor stated, "Nice to see you, doctor. You make that gown look good." State Entity Employee #2 found the exchange with the governor inappropriate and one that would not have been made to a physician who was a man.
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