Manhattan, Westchester prosecutors search for proof of sexual harassment
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in New York City, April 19, 2021.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
Manhattan and Westchester County prosecutors asked New York attorney general Letitia James on Wednesday for evidence related to her office bombing report alleging that Governor Andrew Cuomo was charged with sexual harassment.
Westchester DA Mimi Rocah told James in a letter received on NBC News that she planned to conduct an investigation into whether Cuomo’s alleged sexual misconduct occurred in her jurisdiction was “criminal in nature”.
Manhattan spokesman DA Cyrus Vance Jr. told NBC later on Wednesday, “When our office learned yesterday that the attorney general’s investigation into the governor’s behavior had been completed, our office contacted the attorney general to inquire about investigative material in their possession . to request incidents that occurred in Manhattan. “
The 165-page report, the culmination of five months of investigation and 179 witness interviews, concluded that Cuomo violated federal and state laws. But this investigation was not specifically linked to penalties for the governor.
While the attorney general’s investigation is complete, an impeachment investigation, led by the New York House of Representatives, is underway.
Another Albany County prosecutor, David Soares, had previously announced that his office would launch its own criminal investigation into Cuomo based on the allegations in the report.
Rocah asked James to send her materials relating to one of the 11 women who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment in an official report. Soares also said his office would “welcome any victim to contact our office with additional information” about Cuomo.
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This complainant was a state trooper on the governor’s protection command, the report says.
“According to the report, one of the complainants, identified as Trooper No. 1, indicates certain conduct by the governor in Westchester County,” Rocah said in a letter.
“Although the report found that Governor Cuomo’s actions were in violation of state and federal civil law, I feel it is appropriate that my office conduct a further investigation to determine whether any of the reported conduct alleged to have occurred in Westchester County “criminal in nature,” wrote Rocah.
Cuomo denied touching anyone inappropriately or making inappropriate sexual advances on Tuesday. “The facts are very different from what was presented,” he said in a video accompanying the report. The governor’s office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request to comment on Rocah’s letter.
Cuomo rejected a wave of resignations earlier this year, including from dozens of New York and national Democrats.
But Tuesday’s scathing report released prompted a new group of high-profile Democrats, including President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to urge Cuomo to step down.
The public also appears to be turning against Cuomo, according to a Marist poll conducted after the report was released. The poll of registered New York voters found that 63% of those polled said Cuomo should step down, including 77% Republicans and 52% Democrats.
Only 12% of respondents said Cuomo deserved a fourth term as governor, according to Marist’s poll.
Meanwhile, New York Congregation spokesman Carl Heastie vowed on Tuesday “to act quickly” to complete an impeachment investigation of Cuomo “as soon as possible” once James releases relevant materials from her own investigation.
“I fully understand that the governor has lost the confidence of the assembly’s democratic majority and can no longer remain in office,” said Heastie after the attorney general’s investigation became public.
Heastie, a Democrat, authorized a panel in mid-March to open impeachment investigations into allegations of harassment and other allegations of wrongdoing by Cuomo, including whether his staff tried to hide or alter data on coronavirus deaths in New York nursing homes.
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