Sometimes it pays to be at the heart of political corruption!
On Tuesday, a New York prosecutor revealed Former Governor Andrew Cuomo will not face criminal charges for sexual harassment of two former employees.
According to complaints, Cuomo planted unwanted kisses on their cheeks, touched his former employees inappropriately, and routinely made sexual gestures to the female staffers.
Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah said that while there was evidence to conclude the conduct the women described did occur, she couldn’t bring criminal cases over it.
“In both instances, my office has determined that, although the allegations and witnesses were credible, and the conduct concerning, we cannot pursue criminal charges due to the statutory requirements of the criminal laws of New York,” Rocah said in a statement.
The Democrat has denied sexually harassing anyone or touching anyone inappropriately and has said he doesn’t recall touching anyone.
A number of prosecutors around the state launched investigations after state Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, chronicled accusations from 11 women against Cuomo. The August report led to his resignation from office, although he has attacked the findings as biased and inaccurate.
Last week, a Long Island prosecutor said Cuomo wouldn’t face criminal charges after the same staffer as in the Westchester investigation said she felt “completely violated” by his unwanted touching at an event in 2019. Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith said the allegations were credible and troubling but not criminal under state law.
The alleged incident involving the staffer happened outside Cuomo’s then-home, according to the district attorney’s office. The staffer told investigators that while stationed in the driveway as part of Cuomo’s security detail in summer 2019, she asked the governor if he needed anything, and he responded by asking her whether he could kiss her.
She said, “Sure.” He kissed her on the cheek, while saying something like “Oh, I’m not supposed to do that” or “Unless that’s against the rules,” she told investigators.
A male colleague told investigators he witnessed the episode, the attorney general’s report said.
In the other incident, Cuomo allegedly greeted a woman by grabbing her arm, pulling her toward him and kissing her on the cheek without asking whether that was OK. She was attending a press conference at a local public school in 2018.
“I smiled nervously afterward. I had to endure comments from people in attendance,” the woman, Susan Iannucci, told reporters.
It appears that Cuomo’s “I’m Italian” defense worked out in his favor!
Author: Elizabeth Tierney