Attorney Gloria Allred of Allred Maroko & Goldberg represents two of the eleven women who have accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, and/or inappropriate physical touchings, and retaliation.
Cuomo announced his resignation on August 10 after a stinging 165-page report by the New York Attorney General’s office (“NY AG”) concluded that the governor had violated federal and state laws by sexually harassing eleven employees. Cuomo initially denied any wrongdoing and defiantly refused to resign after the release of the NY AG report. However, after calls from numerous Democrats, including President Biden, for him to do so as well as speculation that the New York Assembly and Senate would commence impeachment proceedings if he did not voluntarily step down, he finally agreed to resign.
Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will take over after Cuomo, becoming the first female governor of New York.
The Governor’s Sudden Fall from Grace
Cuomo has served as governor since 2011 and was up for reelection in 2022. Early in the pandemic, many praised Cuomo for his COVID-19 response and nightly updates. Some assumed that the prominent politician would one day run for President.
Just months later, Cuomo is leaving office in disgrace after breaking state and federal laws. In addition to the sexual harassment and assault allegations, Cuomo faces allegations of:
- Mishandling COVID-19 nursing home deaths
- Improperly using government resources on his 2020 memoir (for which he received $5 million)
- Covering up safety issues for a New York bridge named after his father
A Closer Look at the Sexual Harassment and Assault Allegations
The governor’s office was described as a “toxic” and “hostile” workplace run through bullying and intimidation.
The eleven women who reported Cuomo for sexual misconduct include current and former government employees, and one state trooper. The women suffered from a series of inappropriate actions including:
- Groping and kissing without consent
- Reaching under an assistant’s blouse to touch her breast
- Suggestive comments and questions
One of the victims reported that she was retaliated against after speaking out against his behavior. Brittany Commisso, Cuomo’s former executive assistant also filed a criminal complaint against him with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. As of publication of this blog post, Cuomo does not officially face criminal charges.
Despite finally resigning, Cuomo continues to deny wrongdoing. He claims that he has always been affectionate with both men and women and blames the accusations on changing societal norms: “In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate.”
We applaud the courage of the eleven women who came forward and spoke their truth. If you suffer sexual harassment or abuse in your workplace, we likewise encourage you to step forward with your experience.