Harassment included unwanted kissing, groping
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women during his time in office, state Attorney General Letitia James said in a long-anticipated report Tuesday, the first result of multiple investigations the high-profile Democrat is facing.
Ms. James said outside investigators uncovered conduct that was “deeply disturbing” and often involved younger women. The report largely substantiated accusations by five current and former state employees who said the 63-year-old Democratic governor sexually harassed them or acted inappropriately in the workplace.
The harassment included inappropriate comments and nonconsensual touching that was part of a pattern that extended to other state employees, including inappropriately touching a member of his state police protective detail by running his finger down her back and chest, investigators said.
The 165-page document said Mr. Cuomo fostered a toxic workplace that enabled the harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment. Two outside investigators, Joon Kim and Anne Clark, said they spoke to 179 individuals during their five-month investigation.
Mr. Cuomo requested Ms. James’s probe in March after two women made public accusations against him. He rebuffed calls for his resignation by his fellow Democrats—including U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand —and said people should wait for the facts.
In recent weeks, however, the governor and his aides have said they had concerns about the independence of Ms. James’s investigators and said Ms. James could seek the Democratic nomination for governor.
Ms. James hasn’t ruled out a bid for governor. On Monday her spokeswoman said Mr. Cuomo’s “continued attempts to undermine and politicize this process are dishonest and take away from the courage and bravery displayed by these women.”
On Tuesday, Ms. James called the women “heroic,” and said they came forward despite a “climate of fear” in Mr. Cuomo’s executive chamber.
“This investigation has revealed conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government,” Ms. James said.
Mr. Cuomo, his spokespeople and attorneys didn’t immediately comment on the report’s findings.