NEW YORK — A New York attorney general report detailing a pattern of sexual harassment by Gov. Andrew Cuomo included shocking new details involving a female state trooper.
The unidentified trooper was part of Cuomo’s security detail, according to the two attorneys who led the investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct perpetrated by the governor.
Employment lawyer Anne Clark, who led the probe with former U.S. Attorney Joon Kim, said Cuomo inappropriately touched the state trooper on multiple occasions.
“In an elevator, while standing behind the trooper, he ran his finger from her neck down her spine, and said, ‘hey you,’” Clark said. “Another time, she was standing, holding the door open for the governor. As he passed, he took his open hand and ran it across her stomach, from her belly button to the hip where she keeps her gun.”
Clark said the trooper testified that she felt “completely violated” by the governor.
The report also included details that Cuomo kissed her on the cheek, asked for her help in finding a girlfriend and asked why she didn’t wear a dress.
Kim, a former acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the trooper’s testimony added to a pattern of harassment.
“Our investigation revealed that these were not isolated incidents,” he said.
A spokesperson for the New York State Police Investigators Association said the governor’s actions, as detailed in the report, were “completely unacceptable and utterly disgraceful.”
“The men and women assigned to protect the governor take on this assignment at significant personal sacrifice; however, they do so for the public good. Today we learned that while they were protecting the governor, someone should have been protecting them from him. NYPSIA will fight to protect our members and work to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again,” the statement said.
Cuomo, meanwhile, dismissed the attorney general’s report and suggested the investigation was not impartial.
“The facts are much different than what has been portrayed,” Cuomo said. “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. That is just not who I am and that’s just not who I’ve ever been.”
The nearly five-month-long investigation, which Cuomo called for, also found that the Cuomo administration was a “hostile work environment” and that it was “rife with fear and intimidation.”
Kim and Clark’s team interviewed 179 people and reviewed more than 74,000 pieces of evidence, including documents, emails, text messages, audio files and pictures.
Cuomo was questioned by investigators for 11 hours when he met with them last month, according to the New York Times.
Clark said they found 11 accusers to be credible, noting the allegations were corroborated to varying degrees, including by other witnesses and contemporaneous text messages.