ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — The New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee released a report Monday regarding allegations against former former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The committee was charged by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie back in March to determine whether the former governor engaged in acts that may have justified impeachment, after Cuomo faced accusations of sexual harassment, misreporting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, and misuse of state resources for his COVID-19 book.
The report (full document below) concluded:
- Cuomo engaged in multiple instances of sexual harassment, including by creating a hostile work environment and engaging in sexual misconduct.
- The former governor utilized state resources and property, including work by Executive Chamber staff, to write, publish and promote his book – a project for which he was guaranteed at least $5.2 million in personal profit.
- The former governor was not fully transparent regarding the number of nursing home residents who died as a result of COVID-19.
The investigation included the review of hundreds of thousands of documents, approximately 600,000 — including photographs and text messages, BlackBerry PIN messages, emails, recordings of phone calls, social media accounts, video recordings, memos, transcripts, and other materials.
The investigation included interviews, proffers or review of depositions with more than 200 people and also involved the review of statements and writings by Cuomo and his counsel throughout the investigation.
The judiciary committee’s investigation was conducted by an independent legal firm, Davis Pol and Wardwell LLP. In their conclusion, the investigators stated that Cuomo and his counsel refused to comply “in any meaningful way” with the investigation’s requests and subpoenas.
Cuomo resigned in August following a bombshell report from New York Attorney General Letitia James that concluded he sexually harassed numerous women, including former and current state employees.
That nearly five-month investigation, conducted by two outside lawyers who spoke to 179 people, found that the Cuomo administration was a “hostile work environment” and that it was “rife with fear and intimidation.”
People interviewed for the attorney general’s report included complainants, current and former members of the executive chamber, New York State Police troopers, additional state employees and others who interacted regularly with the governor. They also reviewed more than 74,000 piece of evidence, including documents, emails, text messages, audio files and pictures.
Cuomo’s attorney, Rita Glavin, has challenged the credibility of the attorney general’s report, multiple times, saying it was politically motivated as James has since announced her own run for governor.
Cuomo’s legal team has submitted an application to change the findings of the attorney general’s report, and for James to recuse herself from any involvement of her office’s dealings with Cuomo.
“The August 3rd report is materially misleading, it is flawed, and it is unreliable,” Glavin said.
A statement from Glavin Monday said:
“The Assembly’s report simply parrots the Attorney General’s flawed report, failing to engage with the many errors and omissions in the AG’s report and her one-sided, biased investigation. And, like the AG, the Assembly refused to provide the former Governor with access to all the evidence, again denying the Governor due process and a meaningful ability to respond. This is disappointing, but hardly surprising.”
A statement from Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi Monday said:
“Any report that uses the Attorney General’s politically biased investigation as a basis is going to be equally flawed. To date we have not been allowed the opportunity to review evidence in the Assembly’s possession, despite requests to do so and due process was certainly not afforded here.
Once again, the fact that an employee entered and exited the Executive Mansion as part of her job was never in dispute and once again this report offers no evidence to support any allegation. What is interesting is that the Assembly didn’t even try to prove Tish James’ bogus ‘1 legal violations,’ and instead only focused on two. When all the facts are fairly weighed there will be none.
To be clear, the people who volunteered to work on the book were people mentioned in the book and therefore they were involved to make sure the representations concerning them were accurate. Staff who volunteered took time off, evidencing that they were volunteering and not on state time. Any suggestion to the contrary is Assembly hype. The people who volunteered were senior members in the administration and were highly sophisticated in terms of official activities and volunteer activities and had performed both many times in the past. During the time period in question Robert Mujica, Beth Garvey, James Malatras, Melissa DeRosa, Gareth Rhodes, and Stephanie Benton, all mentioned in the book, reviewed it at no cost to the state. Junior staff working on Covid materials were not helping on the book, but were helping on the state’s Covid response.
The Assembly report is hypocritical, revisionist and damns themselves as the Assembly effectively forces employees to volunteer on their political partisan campaigns as standard practice and if they want to debate it we welcome it. Let them start by disclosing which staffers also do political work. Will the Judiciary committee members that raised the issue disclose their staff members who volunteer to work on their campaigns and if not why not?
They apparently couldn’t find a similar distraction from priority testing after we pointed out the hypocrisy that multiple Assembly members, including members of this very committee, along with staff and family members, were provided testing when asked. That’s why the matter was dropped altogether from the report. However, the Assembly’s duplicity must not be allowed to go unanswered. They must disclose what members, staff and family members received priority testing. They were highly critical of priority testing, but are now silent on who in their house received such testing. They must stop their cover-up.
The conclusions that the DOH report on nursing home COVID transmissions was accurate, that there was no evidence that the March 25 order resulted in additional fatalities and that we received constant reassurances from the Thruway Authority that the bridge was safe by no means suggests that this was a fair and balanced report.
The truth will come out.”
2021.11.22 Report by News 8 WROC on Scribd
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