Sexual harassment by Andrew Cuomo ruled ‘troubling but not criminal’
Disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will not be charged over an incident where he allegedly ‘violated’ a female state trooper, after a district attorney ruled it did not violate New York law.
Cuomo – who resigned as governor in August after being accused of sexually harassing at least eleven women – allegedly caressed the state trooper’s abdomen, hip, and belly button during an event at Belmont Racetrack in September 2019. The trooper claimed to have felt “completely violated” during the incident.
Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith said on Thursday that an “exhaustive investigation” found the allegation to be “credible” and “deeply troubling,” but “not criminal under New York law.”
“It is important to note that our investigation was limited to alleged conduct at Belmont Racetrack, and prosecutors in other jurisdictions continue to review other allegations of misconduct by Mr. Cuomo,” Smith explained, before thanking “the brave individuals who came forward and cooperated with our office during this investigation.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James released a bombshell report in August detailing the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo, which prompted even members of Cuomo’s Democratic Party – including President Joe Biden – to call for the governor's resignation. Despite attempts to defend himself, which included portraying unwanted kissing as a good-natured display of his Italian heritage, Cuomo resigned several weeks later and James went on to run a short-lived campaign to become governor herself.
Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi claimed on Thursday that the district attorney’s statement suggests the governor’s ousting was unfair.
“With each passing day it becomes more and more clear that the Attorney General’s report was the intersection of gross prosecutorial misconduct and an abuse of government power for political purposes,” Azzopardi declared, arguing that a press conference where James proclaimed there were “11 cases of violations of federal and state laws” alleged against Cuomo had “ignited the cancel culture mentality and started a media and political stampede.”
The spokesperson added that James’ report was “obviously a political springboard to remove Governor Cuomo so she could run for office, however it was so poorly done and obviously backfired and James’ run for governor lasted only 5 weeks.”