ALBANY, NY — A legislative investigation released Monday found “overwhelming evidence” that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo engaged in sexual harassment and ordered state workers to help produce his book during work hours.
The report also found that Cuomo’s executive chamber “substantially revised” a state report to exclude deaths of nursing home residents at hospitals to boost Cuomo’s reputation.
In March, the Assembly Judiciary Committee hired a Manhattan law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell, to investigate whether there were grounds to impeach Cuomo.
Cuomo, a Democrat, resigned in August to avoid a likely impeachment trial in the wake of another investigation that found he sexually harassed at least 11 women. That investigation was led by two independent attorneys selected by state Attorney General Letitia James, also a Democrat.
The Assembly investigators said they reviewed that sexual harassment investigation, as well as about 600,00 pages of documents gathered by Davis Polk that ranged from photographs to emails to recordings of phone calls to video recordings.
Davis Polk investigators didn’t interview Cuomo, who instead provided written submissions.
Cuomo’s spokesperson, Richard Azzopardi, and lawyer, Rita Glavin, didn’t immediately respond to request for comment on the legislative investigation.
Cuomo has denied that he ever intended to touch anyone inappropriately and said he never meant to make anyone uncomfortable with sexual remarks.
Cuomo has flat-out denied some allegations, including an executive assistant’s claim that he groped her breasts at the governor’s official residence, the Executive Mansion, last winter.
Cuomo has demanded that Assembly investigators hand over all their evidence against him, but Judiciary Committee members say that Cuomo isn’t entitled to that evidence.
“In the face of an impeachment trial, the former Governor chose to resign, not to contest the available evidence and confront witnesses in that legal forum,” the report released Monday said. “Having foregone that opportunity, he is not entitled to the production of any further evidence from this Committee.”
Cuomo often released statements pledging cooperation with the Assembly investigation, but investigators said he produced only limited documents over the course of almost six months.
“Nonetheless, at no time has the former Governor meaningfully complied with the Committee’s requests or cooperated with its investigation,” the report reads.
By MARINA VILLENEUVE Associated Press