Federal prosecutors say they support the New York attorney general’s findings that former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed several women and created a hostile work environment while he was governor.
In a settlement agreement between the feds and Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office announced on Friday, January 26, the US Attorney’s Office slammed Cuomo for allegedly sexually harassing and later retaliating against former employees, even though the former governor continues to deny the allegations.
“Former Governor Cuomo subjected at least thirteen female employees of New York State, including Executive Chamber employees, to a sexually hostile work environment. Governor Cuomo repeatedly subjected these female employees to unwelcome, non-consensual sexual contact; ogling; unwelcome sexual comments; gender-based nicknames; comments on their physical appearances; and/or preferential treatment based on their physical appearances,” the report reads.
The settlement was the result of federal prosecutors’ own investigation into the former governor, which was carried out separately from probes by Attorney General Letitia James and the state Assembly Judiciary Committee.
The federal investigation into Cuomo began sometime in 2021, revolving around whether Cuomo and his office violated labour and civil right laws as the former governor was being pounded with a litany of sexual harassment allegations.
While carrying no formal legal charges against Cuomo, the federal settlement drew the same conclusions as the 2021 report by James that ultimately led to the Cuomo’s resignation.
“The conduct in the Executive Chamber under the former governor, the state’s most powerful elected official, was especially egregious because of the stark power differential involved and the victims’ lack of avenues to report and redress harassment,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division wrote in a statement.
Attorneys for Cuomo continue to deny the allegations and further claim that the federal investigation was politically motivated.
“This is nothing more than a political settlement with no investigation,” Rita Glavin, an attorney for the former governor, wrote in a statement.