Cuomo Live Updates: N.Y. Governor Is Defiant as Report Finds He Sexually Harassed Women

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Cuomo Sexually Harassed Multiple Women, Report Finds

Letitia James, the New York State attorney general, said a monthslong investigation found that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and retaliated against at least one for making her complaints public.

The independent investigation has concluded that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so, violated federal and state law. Specifically, the investigation found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women. The investigators independently corroborated and substantiated these facts through interviews and evidence, including contemporaneous notes and communications. The independent investigation found that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments. Further, the governor and his senior team took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee for coming forward with her story, her truth. This investigation has revealed conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government, and shines light on injustice that can be present at the highest levels of government. But none of this, none of this, would have been illuminated if not for the heroic women who came forward.

Letitia James, the New York State attorney general, said a monthslong investigation found that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and retaliated against at least one for making her complaints public.CreditCredit…Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, including current and former government workers, breaking state and federal laws and engaging in a pattern of unwanted touching and inappropriate comments, according to a much anticipated report from the New York State attorney general, Letitia James, released on Tuesday.


The 165-page report said that Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, and his aides cultivated a toxic work culture in his office that was rife with fear and intimidation, and helped enable “harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.”

The report included at least two previously unreported allegations of sexual harassment from women who accused Mr. Cuomo of improperly touching them, including an unnamed female state trooper and an employee of an energy company. And it highlighted at least one instance in which Mr. Cuomo and his aides retaliated against one of the women who made her allegations public.

“Governor Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of both federal and state laws,” Ms. James said. “The independent investigation found that Governor Cuomo harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments.”

Ms. James said the report revealed “a deeply disturbing, yet clear picture” and “conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government and shines light on injustice that can be present at the highest levels of government.”

Shortly after the release of the report, the Albany County district attorney, David Soares, said in a statement that his office was conducting an investigation into Mr. Cuomo’s behavior.

Mr. Soares said that the office would be requesting investigative materials that the attorney general’s office had obtained, and encouraged other victims to contact his office. The Albany police department had previously been notified of some of the behavior in the report, including that the governor had groped the breast of a female aide.

Responding to the report from Albany shortly after, Mr. Cuomo reiterated his contention that he had never touched anyone inappropriately, declaring that “the facts are much different from what has been portrayed.”

“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” he said in what appeared to be a prerecorded message. “I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”

As he has before, Mr. Cuomo argued that he has a tendency to hug or kiss people on the cheek, gestures he described as “meant to convey warmth, nothing more.”

As he spoke, a slide show was played of photographs showing him hugging and kissing members of the public and powerful leaders. “I do it with everyone,” Mr. Cuomo said, offering the pictures as evidence. “Black and white, young and old, straight and L.G.B.T.Q., powerful people, friends, strangers, people who I meet on the street.”

Mr. Cuomo also defended his office by describing it as a high-pressure, demanding workplace, but not a toxic environment. He said a document refuting each of the women’s claims would be posted on the governor’s website, saying that “trial by newspaper or biased reviews” were not the way to treat the claims.

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The findings of the report could fuel support for impeachment proceedings against Mr. Cuomo in the State Legislature, which Democrats overwhelmingly control, lead to additional calls for his resignation and influence public opinion as he considers running for a fourth term. Outside lawyers hired by the Assembly’s judiciary committee are currently looking at not only the sexual harassment claims, but a series of scandals with a common theme: whether or not Mr. Cuomo abused his power while in office.

The investigation was conducted by two outside lawyers hired by Ms. James: Joon H. Kim, a former top federal prosecutor, and Anne L. Clark, a well-known employment lawyer.

On Tuesday, Mr. Kim said their investigation revealed “a pattern” of behavior from Mr. Cuomo and found that the culture within the executive chamber “contributed to conditions that allowed the governor’s sexually harassing conduct to occur and to persist.”

“It was a culture where you could not say no to the governor and if you upset him or his senior staff you would be written off, cast aside or worse,” Mr. Kim said. “But at the same time the witnesses described a culture that normalized and overlooked everyday flirtations, physical intimacy and inappropriate comments by the governor.”

The investigators said 11 women had accused Mr. Cuomo of a range of inappropriate behavior; nine of them are current or former state employees, they said. Investigators said they interviewed 179 witnesses and collected tens of thousands of documents to corroborate the claims.

Ms. Clark said that the governor’s conduct detailed in the report “clearly meets, and far exceeds” the legal standard used to determine gender-based harassment in the workplace.

“Women also described to us having the governor seek them out, stare intently at them, look them up and down or gaze at their chest or butt,” she said. “The governor routinely interacted with women in ways that focused on their gender, sometimes in explicitly sexualized manner in ways that women found deeply humiliating and offensive.”

Even before the report’s release on Tuesday, the damage to Mr. Cuomo has been considerable: In a span of a few weeks earlier this year, the allegations and a series of other scandals compounded into the most severe political crisis Mr. Cuomo has confronted in his 10 years in office, a steep fall for a governor once hailed a national leader during the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of his party openly turned on him, raising questions about his capacity to govern and calling on him to resign. The State Assembly launched a broad impeachment investigation to scrutinize, among other issues, the governor’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, which federal prosecutors also began to investigate. Mr. Cuomo saw his once-soaring approval ratings sink, his fund-raising numbers take a hit and a list of potential challengers expand as he eyes a run for a fourth term next year.

Yet, despite the profound political backlash, Mr. Cuomo has refused to step down. Mr. Cuomo has repeatedly denied many of the claims and any deliberate wrongdoing, apologizing for interactions that may have made women “feel uncomfortable.”

In late February, Lindsey Boylan, a former economic development official in the Cuomo administration, became the first woman to outline her claims against the governor. Ms. Boylan said Mr. Cuomo suggested they play “strip poker” on a plane while on a work trip and said the governor kissed her on the lips in his Manhattan office.

A few days later, Charlotte Bennett, a former executive assistant to Mr. Cuomo, told The New York Times that the governor made comments that she took as sexual overtures while they were alone in his Albany office last year. Ms. Bennett said Mr. Cuomo said he was looking for a girlfriend and asked her whether she was monogamous and had sex with older men.

In early March, a current female aide who has not been publicly identified leveled one of the most serious allegations: She said Mr. Cuomo reached under her blouse and groped one of her breasts while they were alone on the second floor of the Executive Mansion in Albany late last year. She said she had been summoned to his residence to assist Mr. Cuomo with a technical issue. Mr. Cuomo has denied the woman’s account, saying he has never touched anyone inappropriately.

The flurry of allegations, and the growing calls for his resignation, led Mr. Cuomo to authorize Ms. James to oversee an investigation led by outside lawyers into any sexual harassment claims against him.

Following the report’s release on Tuesday, Carl E. Heastie, the speaker of the State Assembly, said that the Assembly, which has the power to impeach Mr. Cuomo, would undertake “an in-depth examination of the report and its corresponding exhibits,” adding that “we will have more to say in the very near future.”

“The conduct by the governor outlined in this report would indicate someone who is not fit for office,” he said in a statement.

Charlotte Bennett, a former executive assistant to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, said he made sexual overtures toward her when they were in his office.
Credit…Elizabeth Frantz for The New York Times

The New York State attorney general’s report on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo focused on allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct made by 11 women, nine of whom are current and former state employees.

The report outlined detailed accounts and testimony from those women, whose accusations of improper behavior include inappropriate comments and unwanted kissing and touching. Many, but not all, of the accounts described in the report were previously reported.

The inquiry was sparked in large part by accusations made by Charlotte Bennett, a former executive assistant to Mr. Cuomo who lodged a sexual harassment complaint against him last year.

Ms. Bennett, who was also a health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration, accused the governor of making sexual overtures while the two of them were in his office in the State Capitol last June. The report found that the governor asked whether she had relationships with older men, told her that he was “lonely” during the pandemic and “wanted to be touched” and asked if she was monogamous.

In February and March, Mr. Cuomo said that he had not made advances or “inappropriately touched” anybody, though he apologized for making anyone “feel uncomfortable.” In recent months, the governor has forcefully denied any wrongdoing and insisted he wants to tell his side of the story.

Ms. Bennett’s accusations followed allegations of sexual harassment made by Lindsey Boylan, a former state economic development official, who said in an online essay that Mr. Cuomo had harassed her multiple times from 2016 to 2018. The report found that Mr. Cuomo touched her waist, legs and back; kissed her on the cheek and lips; and suggested once on a plane that the two play “strip poker.” The report also said that the governor’s office “actively engaged in an effort to discredit” Ms. Boylan.

The governor’s representatives have called Ms. Boylan’s accusations untrue.

After Ms. James announced her office’s investigation, another former aide, Ana Liss, told The Wall Street Journal that Mr. Cuomo made her uncomfortable by asking her personal questions about her love life, touching her on the lower back and kissing her on the hand — allegations that were supported by the report.

Ms. Liss told investigators that Mr. Cuomo also kissed her on the cheek. While she found the behavior unwelcome, she felt that she could not rebuff the governor “because saying no could result in being ostracized or fired,” according to the report.

Ms. Liss, who was a policy adviser in the Cuomo administration between 2013 and 2015, later told The Times that Mr. Cuomo’s extra attention to her was noticed by colleagues who made jokes about how the governor found her attractive, causing her further distress.

Alyssa McGrath, who spoke to The Times in March, became the first current aide in Mr. Cuomo’s office to speak publicly about allegations of harassment inside the Capitol. The report found that Mr. Cuomo acted inappropriately toward her, including asking about her marital status and divorce and staring down her shirt and commenting on a necklace that was inside her shirt.

Another current aide, who has not been publicly identified, had accused Mr. Cuomo of groping her breast in the Executive Mansion last year, an allegation that was first made public in the The Times Union of Albany. The report bolstered the account, saying that Mr. Cuomo’s behavior toward the woman, who was not named but instead referred to only as Executive Assistant #1, included “regular hugs and kisses on the cheek (and at least one kiss on the lips)” and “incidents where the governor grabbed Executive Assistant #1’s butt.”

“The Governor, during a hug, reached under Executive Assistant #1’s blouse and grabbed her breast,” the report said.

Mr. Cuomo, 63, has denied any wrongdoing, and has at times suggested that his relationships with employees he viewed as friends may have been misinterpreted.

The attorney general’s report describes several incidents in which Mr. Cuomo is accused of harassing an unnamed female state trooper who was assigned to his protective detail.

According to the report, Mr. Cuomo asked to have her join the detail after a brief meeting in 2017. After she joined the unit, Mr. Cuomo “sexually harassed her on a number of occasions,” according to the report, including running his hand across her stomach when she held the door open for him at an event; running his finger down her spine when she stood in front of him in an elevator; kissing her on the cheek; and asking her why she did not wear a dress.

The investigators included an account from Virginia Limmiatis, an employee of an energy company who said that Mr. Cuomo touched her chest and brushed his hand between her shoulder and breasts at an event in 2017.

They provided detailed accounts of misconduct from two employees of New York State-affiliated entities. One woman, who was unnamed, said that Mr. Cuomo asked her to pose for a photograph during an event in New York City in 2019 and then touched the area between her butt and her thigh.

The second, a doctor and former director at the state Health Department who was unnamed in the report, said that Mr. Cuomo made uncomfortable comments when she was giving him a nasal swab during a coronavirus-related news conference last year.

During the news conference, she said, the governor remarked, “nice to see you, Doctor — you make that gown look good” as she approached him in full personal protective equipment.

The investigators discussed the experience of a woman named Kaitlin, whose last name was not given in the report and whose account was described in detail in New York Magazine. Kaitlin said that Mr. Cuomo often commented on her appearance and made her feel uncomfortable.

The report also provided a detailed account from Anna Ruch, who accused Mr. Cuomo of making an unwanted advance at a wedding, including asking to kiss her.

Though she is not mentioned extensively in the report, investigators also spoke with Karen Hinton, who worked closely with Mr. Cuomo when he was federal housing secretary under President Bill Clinton.

Ms. Hinton said she discussed harassment in the office and what she described as Mr. Cuomo’s flirtatious and abusive behavior.

The Albany County district attorney is conducting a criminal investigation into the governor, he said in a statement.
Credit…Angus Mordant/Reuters

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is under criminal investigation, the Albany County prosecutor said, as a report by the New York State attorney general found that the governor had violated state and federal law by sexually harassing his employees.

Investigators working on behalf of the attorney general said in the report released Tuesday that Mr. Cuomo had violated the law in multiple instances of unwelcome and inappropriate touching reported by those they interviewed. They said his behavior constituted sexual harassment that had created a hostile work environment.

In a statement, the Albany County district attorney, David Soares, said that his office was conducting an investigation into Mr. Cuomo’s behavior and that it would be requesting investigative materials that the attorney general’s office had obtained.

In his statement, Mr. Soares encouraged other victims to contact his office.

The report said that law enforcement authorities, including the Albany Police Department, had been notified of allegations in the report, including that the governor had groped the breast of an unnamed executive assistant.

Mr. Cuomo was also found to have violated federal and state civil law in creating a hostile work environment. He may face lawsuits from one or several of his accusers based on the behavior described by witnesses in the report.

Under New York state law, an individual, as well as an employer, can be held responsible in civil court for a hostile work environment if the individual was “personally involved” in harassment.

One of the lead investigators, Anne L. Clark, noted on Tuesday that the governor himself had signed a law that changed the standard in New York for criminal sexual harassment in August 2019.

“In New York, a woman need only show that she was treated less well at least in part because of her gender,” Ms. Clark said. “The governor’s conduct, detailed in the report, clearly meets and far exceeds this standard.”

Several lawyers interviewed said that the actions described in the report constituted misdemeanor sexual assault and that the Albany prosecutors could consider that charge, among others.

Kevin Mintzer, a lawyer who has represented several women in sexual misconduct cases, said that while Mr. Cuomo could clearly be held individually liable in state civil court for his conduct, a criminal charge could be difficult for prosecutors to prove.

“Our criminal laws don’t cover much of what sexual harassment is, at least in the workplace,” he said.

In theory, unwanted touching and groping of people’s intimate parts could lead to criminal charges, Mr. Mintzer said, but as a practical matter prosecutors would have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, a high legal hurdle.

“It’s a fact that this workplace touching and groping is not usually criminally prosecuted,” Mr. Mintzer said. “Whether or not that’s the way it should be is a separate issue.”

Letitia James, the state attorney general, has led the inquiry into Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Credit…Dave Sanders for The New York Times

Letitia James, the New York attorney general, unveiled the findings of her office’s sexual harassment inquiry into Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday, describing the report in stark terms and declaring that “we should believe women.”

As she revealed that two outside investigators found during a five-monthlong inquiry that Mr. Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women, Ms. James said the state had “an obligation to protect women in their workplace.”

That, she concluded, was the most important takeaway of the report, which supported their accusations and provided them in detail.

“I believe women, and I believe these 11 women,” she said at the conclusion of a nearly hourlong news conference Tuesday.

The moment was one that Ms. James had not herself sought; Mr. Cuomo, under pressure when the accusations against him first began, referred the matter to her office.

But in the end, she took it on with the conviction and oratorical flair that has marked her rise through New York politics.

Ms. James, a Democrat who is the first woman and first Black person to be elected attorney general in New York, had been considering a run for mayor back in 2018, when the state’s then-attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, abruptly resigned from the post after four women accused him of physical abuse.

She then ran for attorney general, with the backing of Mr. Cuomo, who was running for re-election as governor and with whom Ms. James aligned her campaign. Ms. James then cruised to victory in the general election.

During her campaign, Ms. James largely ran on her opposition to then-President Donald J. Trump. After she was elected, her office opened investigations into Mr. Trump and his family business, as well as several banks that financed Trump Organization projects.

But Ms. James has also shown a willingness to jump into the fray on several other high-profile issues. Her office has investigated pandemic safety concerns at Amazon warehouses and sued the National Rifle Association. She has also called for an end to mayoral control of New York City’s police department.

Many of Ms. James’s competitors in her election criticized her ties to Mr. Cuomo, raising concerns that she would not investigate allegations of misconduct against him. But in January, Ms. James’s office reported that the governor’s administration had underplayed coronavirus-related deaths of state nursing home residents, undercounting them by the thousands.

Still, concerns over the ties between the two elected officials led Ms. James to deputize the independent investigators to conduct the inquiry into the sexual harassment allegations.

Though Mr. Cuomo initially seemed to voice support for an independent investigation, he and his aides have since raised concerns that the inquiry may be politically motivated.

They have suggested that Ms. James’s report may be swayed by her apparent interest in running for governor and challenging Mr. Cuomo’s re-election bid next year. Ms. James has made no public remarks suggesting she will do so.

Asked on Tuesday whether the findings of her investigation should be enough to compel the resignation of Mr. Cuomo, Ms. James demurred.

Instead, she pointed to the bravery of the women, state employees, who had come forward to report abuse by the governor, their ultimate boss.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, is among the high-ranking Democrats who have called on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to resign.
Credit…Michael A. McCoy for The New York Times

The state attorney general’s finding that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in violation of federal and state law ignited searing criticism of the governor on Tuesday and sparked calls for his resignation from every single Democratic member of Congress from New York State — including three congressmen who had formerly been reluctant to take that step.

On Tuesday afternoon, shortly after Attorney General Letitia James released a report finding that Mr. Cuomo had “harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women,” those three congressmen — Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, Thomas Suozzi and Gregory Meeks — said, “The time has come for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to do the right thing for the people of New York State and resign.”

Shortly thereafter, 12 other members of the state’s Democratic delegation joined in. In a joint statement, Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Brian Higgins, Nydia Velázquez, Ritchie Torres, Yvette Clarke, Kathleen Rice, Grace Meng, Adriano Espaillat, Jamaal Bowman, Mondaire Jones and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said, “For the good of New York State, Andrew Cuomo must resign. If he does not, the New York State Assembly must begin impeachment proceedings.”

They pointedly noted that Mr. Cuomo called for Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s resignation after findings of sexual harassment, and said Mr. Cuomo should follow his own advice.

“We note with interest Governor Cuomo’s own May 17, 2013, statement calling on Assembly Member Vito Lopez to ‘resign, effective immediately’ when the Assembly investigation announced its findings. “‘There should be a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment and we must now send a clear message that this behavior is not tolerated,’” they quoted Mr. Cuomo as saying at the time. “We agree.”

But Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, showed no inclination to heed their call.

In a video rebuttal, Mr. Cuomo disputed the attorney general’s findings and disparaged her aims. He said, as he has in the past, that he has “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”

It is not clear how tenable Mr. Cuomo’s hold on power remains. He appears to have few allies left that are not in his employ. Eric Adams, the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York City on whom Mr. Cuomo has lavished praise in recent weeks, called for Mr. Cuomo’s impeachment.

“Attorney General James conducted a thorough and revealing investigation that yielded disturbing conclusions about the conduct of Governor Cuomo,” he said in a statement. “It is now the duty of the New York State Assembly to take swift and appropriate action and move forward with impeachment proceedings if the governor will not resign.”

Other leading Democrats were even more forceful.

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, who had called for Mr. Cuomo to step down in March and again on Tuesday, said, “The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor’s office.”

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the majority leader of the State Senate, repeated her call for Mr. Cuomo’s departure, as did Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has frequently butted heads with Mr. Cuomo.

“It is beyond clear that Andrew Cuomo is not fit to hold office and can no longer serve as governor,” he said.

Even Carl E. Heastie, the State Assembly speaker, who has yet to call on the governor to resign, said the report’s findings were “disturbing” and added that “the conduct by the governor outlined in this report would indicate someone who is not fit for office.”

Mr. Heastie had announced in March that the Assembly would open a broad inquiry into Mr. Cuomo that would determine the grounds for possible impeachment. That investigation is still underway, and on Tuesday, Mr. Heastie said that members of the assembly would “undertake an in-depth examination of the report.”




‘My Job Is About You,’ Cuomo Says After Attorney General Report

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York denied any wrongdoing following the release of a report by the state’s attorney general into allegations of sexual harassment against him. He said the investigation was a painful period for his family, but he would continue his work.

It has been a hard and a painful period for me and my family. My own family member is a survivor of sexual assault in high school. I have watched her live and suffer with the trauma. I would do anything to make it go away for her, but it never really goes away. I spent countless days and nights working through these issues with her and therapists and counselors. I’m governor of the State of New York, but I felt powerless to help, and felt that I had failed her. I couldn’t take the pain away. I still can’t. I say to my daughters all the time that as complicated as life gets is as simple as life is. My job is not about me. My job is about you. What matters to me at the end of the day is getting the most done I can for you. And that is what I do every day. And I will not be distracted from that job.

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York denied any wrongdoing following the release of a report by the state’s attorney general into allegations of sexual harassment against him. He said the investigation was a painful period for his family, but he would continue his work.CreditCredit…Cindy Schultz for The New York Times

Speaking from Albany shortly after the release of the attorney general’s report on sexual misconduct allegations against him, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo defended his behavior toward women on Tuesday, reiterating his contention that he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate advances.”

Saying that the swirl of allegations had marked a painful period for his family, Mr. Cuomo suggested that the report was biased and politically motivated, saying that the “facts are much different from what has been portrayed.”

“I have lived my entire adult life in public view,” Mr. Cuomo said, in an address that appeared to be recorded. “That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”

As he has previously, Mr. Cuomo defended his actions by saying that he often hugs people, kisses them on the cheek or takes their faces into his hands.

As he spoke, he offered as evidence a slide show of photographs that showed him publicly kissing and touching the faces of family members, elected officials and political supporters from diverse backgrounds.

“I do it with everyone,” Mr. Cuomo said, also noting that his gestures were “meant to convey warmth, nothing more.”

He also acknowledged that he has made jokes or called women “sweetheart,” “darling,” or “honey” at times, though he did not characterize such behavior as inappropriate, saying only that there were differing “generational or cultural” perspectives on such behavior.

The governor defended his office by describing it as a high-pressure, demanding workplace, but not a toxic or sexually hostile environment. “My office is no typical 9-to-5 government office,” he said.

But Mr. Cuomo sought to deflect accusations that top aides in his office, many of them women, had contributed to an abusive workplace culture, by claiming that those allegations were sexist.

“A strong male manager is respected and rewarded,” said Mr. Cuomo, who himself has been accused of bullying aides and elected officials. “But a strong female manager is ridiculed and stereotyped. It is a double standard.”

Unlike Ms. James, Mr. Cuomo did not take questions from the news media. He said a document prepared by his personal attorney refuting each of the women’s allegations would be posted on the governor’s website.

But Mr. Cuomo responded directly and at some length to the allegations of two women: Charlotte Bennett, who was the second former aide to publicly accuse Mr. Cuomo of harassment, and an unnamed executive assistant who has said that Mr. Cuomo groped her in the Executive Mansion in Albany.

Ms. Bennett accused Mr. Cuomo of asking inappropriate questions about her sex life, including whether she was monogamous in past relationships and if she had ever had sex with older men. She also said that the governor had asked if she thought that age made a difference in relationships and had told her that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s — comments that she interpreted as unwanted sexual advances.

As he has previously, Mr. Cuomo in his remarks on Tuesday said that Ms. Bennett had told him about being a sexual assault survivor — something about which she had been open — and he had tried to be supportive and helpful.

Ms. Bennett’s experience resonated with Mr. Cuomo, he said, because he had a family member who had survived sexual assault in high school. Mr. Cuomo had felt powerless to help that relative, whom he did not name, and Ms. Bennett, he said, “brought it all back”

Mr. Cuomo said that he hoped he could draw on his past experience to assist Ms. Bennett with the trauma of her abuse. “I did ask her questions I don’t normally ask people,” he said.

The governor said that his efforts may have been inappropriate and that they fell short of his intentions. But he also defended his remarks by saying that Ms. Bennett and her lawyer had misunderstood his questions and motives.

“They read into comments that I made and draw inferences that I never meant. They ascribe motives I never had. And simply put, they heard things that I just didn’t say,” Mr. Cuomo said.

Ms. Bennett, in response, criticized Mr. Cuomo’s comments, saying that he appeared to be “victim blaming,” pointing to her history as a way to justify his behavior.

His remarks, she said, suggested that the governor was “not operating in reality and at this point, it’s besides the point.”

Of the unnamed assistant, Mr. Cuomo said, as he has in the past, that the incident “never happened.” He noted that the woman’s lawyer had suggested she might file a lawsuit, and Mr. Cuomo said that he welcomed the chance to present his case in court.

“Trial by newspaper or biased reviews,” he said, was not the way to treat her claims.

Mr. Cuomo also said that he had asked an expert to design a new sexual harassment training program for himself and his office. The governor did not address the accusation that one of his top aides had previously completed such a training, which is required by state law, in 2019 on his behalf.

One of his lawyers has previously denied that allegation. But the attorney general’s investigators said that one of Mr. Cuomo’s aides admitted that she signed Mr. Cuomo’s name on the form attesting he had taken the training that year.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo intervened to have the female state trooper assigned to his protective detail, according to the state attorney general’s report. 
Credit…Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

An unnamed state trooper assigned to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s protective detail was among the women who accused the governor of harassment in a state attorney general’s report released Tuesday.

The state trooper told the investigators that she and Mr. Cuomo met briefly for a few minutes at an event in November 2017 at the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in New York City.

After the two met, Mr. Cuomo spoke to an unnamed senior member assigned to his protective detail and asked that the female trooper join the detail, the report said.

The woman was hired into the detail even though she did not meet the three years of experience with the State Police that was a requirement for the posting, the investigators said.

In an email cited in the report, the senior member of the detail who spoke with Mr. Cuomo told the woman, “Ha ha they changed the minimum from 3 years to 2. Just for you.”

After the woman was moved to Mr. Cuomo’s protective detail in January 2018, the governor “sexually harassed her on a number of occasions,” the report said. The woman told investigators that the governor’s behavior was “flirtatious” and “creepy” and that he did not act in a similar way toward men.

The woman told investigators about several offensive comments by Mr. Cuomo that made her uncomfortable, including multiple times when he criticized her for not wearing a dress, which she said she interpreted as a suggestion that she wear “tighter clothes.”

She also said she felt particularly uncomfortable when Mr. Cuomo once asked her why she wanted to get married, saying that “it always ends in divorce, and you lose money, and your sex drive goes down,” according to the report.

The trooper also described multiple instances in which the governor made unwanted physical contact. In an elevator in Mr. Cuomo’s Manhattan office, she said, he once stood behind her and ran his finger from the top of her neck down her spine to the middle of her back, saying “Hey, you,” she told investigators.

In the summer of 2019, when she was outside his home in Mt. Kisco, in Westchester County, she asked if Mr. Cuomo needed anything, to which he responded, “Can I kiss you?”

In that moment, she told investigators, she froze, wondering how she could politely decline without Mr. Cuomo somehow retaliating. So she replied, “Sure.” When Mr. Cuomo kissed her on the cheek, she said, he said something acknowledging that the behavior was improper. The incident was corroborated by another member of the protective detail, investigators said.

Mr. Cuomo then asked to kiss her on another occasion later that year, the trooper told investigators. That time she declined.

In September 2019, while the trooper was providing security at an event in Long Island and was holding open a door for Mr. Cuomo, he ran his hand across her stomach, from her belly button to her right hip, she said.

A male State Police investigator told the attorney general’s legal team that he saw Mr. Cuomo touch her stomach and asked if she wanted to report it, according to the report. She said at the time that she was fearful of retaliation, he said.

Mr. Cuomo denied touching the female trooper on the stomach or the back and said that he may have once kissed her on the cheek at a Christmas party, according to the report.

Thomas H. Mungeer, the president of the union that represents New York state troopers, said in a statement that he was “outraged and disgusted” that one of his members assigned to ensure the governor’s safety “could not enjoy the same sense of security in her work environment that he was provided.”

The accusations against the governor seemed particularly shocking given that the trooper had taken an oath to uphold the law, some of the episodes occurred in front of other state troopers, and the trooper herself was armed.

“He’s in a position of power, even over an armed state trooper, and he took advantage of that,” Mr. Mungeer said in an interview.

Virginia Limmiatis told investigators that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo touched her “inappropriately” after a speaking engagement in 2017.
Credit…David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo did not limit his sexual harassment to women who worked for him, state investigators found. He also targeted at least one woman who was waiting in line to meet him following a speaking engagement in upstate New York.

The woman, Virginia Limmiatis, told investigators that Mr. Cuomo touched her “inappropriately” after the event in May 2017.

After the governor spoke, Ms. Limmiatis, who works for the energy company National Grid, waited in line to meet him. She was wearing a shirt with her company’s name on it.

When Mr. Cuomo reached Ms. Limmiatis, she stretched out her hand to shake his.

Instead, the governor “ran two fingers across her chest, pressing down on each of the letters as he did so and reading out the name of the energy company as he went,” according to the report. “The governor then leaned in, with his face close to Ms. Limmiatis’s cheek, and said, ‘I’m going to say I see a spider on your shoulder,’ before brushing his hand in the area between her shoulder and breasts (and below her collarbone).”

Ms. Limmiatis was “shocked,” according to the report, and immediately told other guests.

When she returned to her office, she told her boss what had happened. He did not suggest reporting it to National Grid or to the governor’s executive chamber, according to the report.

National Grid said in a statement Tuesday that it “supports its employees’ rights to maintain privacy and refers questions about this matter to the employee’s personal attorneys handling the case.”

Ms. Limmiatis did not initially pursue the matter further.

“How do you explain to someone what the governor did in public, such an egregious act, heinous act,” she told investigators. “I was very fearful.”

She ultimately came forward with her story after Mr. Cuomo told reporters on March 3 that he had never touched anybody inappropriately.

“I didn’t know how to report what he did to me at the time and was burdened by shame, but not coming forward now would make me complicit in his lie, and I won’t do it,” Ms. Limmiatis told investigators.

In his testimony, Mr. Cuomo disputed Ms. Limmiatis’s account “and he generally denied touching anyone inappropriately,” the report says.

Ms. Limmiatis referred requests for comment on Tuesday to her attorney, Mariann Wang.

In a statement, Ms. Wang said Mr. Cuomo “should not be in charge of our government and should not be in any position of power over anyone else.”

Debra Katz, a lawyer for Charlotte Bennett, called on the governor to “do the right thing and resign.”
Credit…Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

Lawyers for the women whom Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was found to have sexually harassed called on him to resign on Tuesday, saying that a report released by investigators was “damning” and “devastating.”

Debra Katz, a lawyer for Charlotte Bennett, who accused the governor of sexual harassment in February, said in an interview that the investigators had done a thorough job and called on Mr. Cuomo to “do the right thing and resign.”

“His behavior was egregious, and he does not deserve the position he now holds,” she said.

She noted that, according to the report, the governor had violated a law that he himself had signed in 2019, changing the standard for what constituted criminal sexual harassment.

“He repeatedly violated the law that he signed to great fanfare providing what he said was the most protective law in the United States,” Ms. Katz said.

Mariann Wang, a lawyer for Alyssa McGrath and Virginia Limmiatis, said the report showed that Mr. Cuomo should not be in a position of power. Ms. Limmiatis accused the governor of having touched her inappropriately; Ms. McGrath said that he had made inappropriate comments about her personal life.

“He harassed and demeaned women, fundamentally treating them like objects, and if they dared to complain or not participate, he punished them brutally,” Ms. Wang said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Rita Glavin, a lawyer for Mr. Cuomo, released a detailed response to the report, calling it “unfair” and “inaccurate.”

“Regrettably, as the findings in the report show, the investigators have directed an utterly biased investigation and willfully ignored evidence inconsistent with the narrative they have sought to weave,” her response said.

Ms. Glavin’s response ran for more than 80 pages and included one exhibit that showed pictures of other politicians — including President Biden and former President Barack Obama — kissing and hugging others.

Letitia James, the New York State attorney general, did not say on Tuesday if her office planned to make a criminal referral, saying only that its role in the investigation was over.

Asked about the possibility that Mr. Cuomo might not face criminal charges, Ms. Wang said the lack of criminal charges would not suggest that the behavior described was “acceptable or lawful.”

“The fact that he’s not being pursued criminally does not mean that it isn’t incredibly serious and a basis for him to step down,” she said.

Lawyers for Mr. Cuomo’s staff also reacted to the report on Tuesday. Sean Hecker, who represents Melissa DeRosa, one of the governor’s top aides, said in a statement that Ms. DeRosa had reported allegations of sexual harassment to the governor’s lawyer and “deferred to them for their judgment regarding appropriate follow-up.”

Joon H. Kim, a former acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, is one of the two lawyers hired to conduct the investigation into Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Credit…Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Letitia James, the New York State attorney general, oversaw the inquiry into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, but she hired two lawyers outside her office to conduct the investigation.

The lawyers, Joon H. Kim, a former acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Anne L. Clark, who has extensive experience in employment law issues, were hired in March.

For weeks, the two lawyers have presided over an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment and other questionable behavior by the governor, directly interviewing many of the witnesses. They have also been looking more broadly at workplace culture in Mr. Cuomo’s office and whether officials properly followed procedure when responding to sexual harassment complaints, people familiar with the matter have said.

Ms. Clark, a partner at Vladeck, Raskin & Clark, has represented plaintiffs in workplace discrimination and sexual harassment cases, both in government and in the private sector.

Earlier in her career, she was a staff lawyer at the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, an advocacy group for women’s rights now known as Legal Momentum.

Mr. Kim, currently a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, specializes in internal investigations and regulatory enforcement. He also spent years working for the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan. From March 2017 to January 2018, he served as the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, after Preet Bharara was forced out of office by President Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Kim has investigated Mr. Cuomo before. He served as Mr. Bharara’s chief counsel when the U.S. attorney’s office investigated Mr. Cuomo’s decision in 2014 to disband an anticorruption panel and the governor’s possible interference with the panel’s work. That investigation determined that there was “insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime.”

In his time as acting U.S. attorney, Mr. Kim was involved, before trial, in the prosecution of Joseph Percoco, who was once one of Mr. Cuomo’s most trusted aides and a close friend. Mr. Percoco was convicted of federal corruption charges in 2018, and Mr. Cuomo has distanced himself, though members of his inner circle have for years quietly raised money for Mr. Percoco.

Ms. James hired Mr. Kim and Ms. Clark, in part, to skirt any appearance that the investigation into Mr. Cuomo would be politically motivated. Nonetheless, in recent weeks, as the attorney general’s investigation appeared to be entering its final stages, Mr. Cuomo and his office have expressed some doubt over the neutrality of the outside lawyers.

They have pointed in particular to Mr. Kim’s past experience investigating the governor’s administration and his ties to Mr. Bharara.

“I have concerns as to the independence of the reviewers,” Mr. Cuomo, who authorized the attorney general’s investigation earlier this year, said at a news conference last week.

Mr. Cuomo’s aides have also suggested that the attorney general’s inquiry is politically motivated because of Ms. James’s supposed interest in running for governor, though Ms. James, a Democrat, has not said publicly that she is interested in doing so.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo became increasingly combative as the investigation continued.
Credit…Pool photo by Mary Altaffer

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s public attitude toward the report on allegations of sexual misconduct has changed notably since March, when, under pressure to resign, the governor welcomed the inquiry and urged patience from the public.

“Let the attorney general do her job,” he said then of Letitia James. “She’s very good. She’s very competent, and that will be due process and then we’ll have the facts.”

The following month, Mr. Cuomo shifted to predictions about the content of the report, saying that the investigators would find no evidence of wrongdoing.

The report could not find differently, he said, “because I didn’t do anything wrong.”

By May, Mr. Cuomo, whose political future had seemed in doubt just weeks earlier, had returned to his familiar, combative posture, asserting that he “did nothing wrong, period.”

“If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that is not harassment, that is feeling uncomfortable,” Mr. Cuomo said then.

Two months later, his office completed a full about-turn. In response to the news that he would be interviewed by investigators, one of his senior advisers, Richard Azzopardi, said in a statement that “the governor doesn’t want to comment on this review until he has cooperated.”

“The continued leaks are more evidence of the transparent political motivation of the attorney general’s review,” Mr. Azzopardi added. He provided no evidence that the attorney general was leaking information.

On Tuesday, Ms. James announced that a four-month investigation had found that Mr. Cuomo sexually harassed women, created a toxic workplace environment and retaliated against at least one woman for making her complaints public.

Melissa DeRosa, the governor’s top aide and the highest ranking unelected official in the state, has been accused of creating a toxic work environment and berating subordinates over small mistakes.
Credit…Justin Lane/EPA, via Shutterstock

During their investigation into Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the legal team deputized by the state attorney general questioned some of Mr. Cuomo’s closest aides and confidantes.

Some of the women who accused Mr. Cuomo of sexual harassment and misconduct have said that top staff members in the governor’s office improperly handled their complaints. Others have said that senior advisers to Mr. Cuomo fostered an unprofessional work environment.

It remains unclear whether any of those questioned will be implicated in potential misconduct.

Melissa DeRosa, Mr. Cuomo’s top aide and the highest ranking unelected official in the state, is one of several senior Cuomo aides accused of fostering a toxic work environment in the governor’s office, including screaming and cursing at subordinates over small mistakes.

Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Mr. Cuomo, was one of several top Cuomo aides who called former employees to ask about Lindsey Boylan, one of the first women to accuse Mr. Cuomo of misconduct.

Some said they felt the calls were meant to intimidate them; Mr. Azzopardi has previously said the calls were not coordinated and were not meant to silence anyone.

Judith L. Mogul began serving as special counsel to the governor in 2019. She and Jill DesRosiers, who served as Mr. Cuomo’s chief of staff, were senior aides who handled a sexual harassment complaint made last year by Charlotte Bennett, the second woman to publicly accuse Mr. Cuomo.

Ms. Bennett’s lawyer, Debra Katz, said that both women failed to properly report the allegations to the government office that would have been responsible for investigating them. Ms. Mogul has said that she “acted consistent with the information provided, the requirements of the law, and Charlotte’s wishes.”

Larry Schwartz, who was one of Mr. Cuomo’s most trusted advisers, briefly served as the state’s vaccine czar. He unexpectedly stepped down in April, following scrutiny over phone calls he made to at least two county executives, in which he discussed vaccines while gauging their support for Mr. Cuomo as he faced calls to resign. The conversations led to accusations of impropriety, which Mr. Schwartz has denied.

Stephanie Benton, a senior aide to Mr. Cuomo, was accused by Ms. Boylan of suggesting that Mr. Cuomo thought she was a “better-looking sister” of another woman. Ms. Benton supervised several of the aides who have accused the governor of harassment, including Ms. Bennett, who told CBS News that she once overheard Ms. Benton tell Mr. Cuomo that she had completed his required sexual harassment training for him.

A lawyer for the governor’s office has denied Ms. Bennett’s assertions, and Ms. Benton has said that her remarks to Ms. Boylan were an attempt at banter.

A vigil in downtown Manhattan honoring those who died of Covid-19 in New York nursing homes. The vigil was held on March 25, one year after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ordered nursing homes to accept Covid-19 patients from hospitals.
Credit…Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

While much attention has been focused on the state attorney general’s inquiry into the sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, it is not the only investigation the governor’s office faces.

In April, the attorney general’s office opened an inquiry into whether Mr. Cuomo had improperly used state resources while he wrote and promoted his book on the pandemic, for which Mr. Cuomo was expected to earn more than $5 million.

The investigation followed reports that some staff members were involved in various steps of readying the memoir, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Mr. Cuomo has said that any work done by government employees on the book was voluntary, although some minor work may have been “incidental.”

The State Assembly is currently conducting a separate and broader impeachment inquiry into Mr. Cuomo that is exploring the sexual harassment accusations and whether Mr. Cuomo improperly used state resources to write his book.

Led by the Judiciary Committee, which hired an outside law firm, the Assembly’s investigation is also looking at the controversy over the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic.

It also is likely to examine whether the administration covered up potential structural problems on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which connects Rockland and Westchester Counties and which was renamed for Mr. Cuomo’s father.

The nursing home scandal — in which Mr. Cuomo and aides have been accused of deliberately obscuring the full scope of deaths in those facilities — is also the focus of a federal investigation.

The F.B.I. has been examining whether Mr. Cuomo and his aides knowingly provided false data on resident deaths to the Justice Department, according to people with knowledge of the investigation.

Federal prosecutors are also looking into whether the Cuomo administration gave the governor’s family and other influential people special access to rapid coronavirus test results at the start of the pandemic, when tests were scarce.

Chris Cuomo apologized in May for giving political advice to his brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, during a sexual harassment investigation.
Credit…Evan Agostini/Invision, via Associated Press

New details emerged on Tuesday about the involvement of the star CNN anchor Chris Cuomo had in shaping the strategic response to allegations against his brother, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, of workplace sexual harassment.

Chris Cuomo was identified in a report by the New York State attorney general, Letitia James, as an ongoing participant in strategy calls with Governor Cuomo’s inner circle. That group was described to investigators by Richard Azzopardi, the governor’s senior adviser, as “people who have been with us for a long time who we could trust.”

One document included in the report shows Chris Cuomo participating in an email chain on Feb. 28 in which the group drafted a formal public statement for Governor Cuomo; the statement was issued by the governor’s office later that day. Chris Cuomo appeared to weigh in on the wording of the statement, although it was unclear if he wrote it.

Chris Cuomo was also interviewed by investigators from Ms. James’s office as part of their preparation of the report.

CNN had no immediate comment on Tuesday.

Chris Cuomo apologized to CNN viewers in May when it was revealed that he had offered political advice to his brother, a clear breach of traditional ethical barriers between journalists and lawmakers. The anchor, whose 9 p.m. show is CNN’s highest-rated program, called his actions “a mistake,” but he also described himself as “family first, job second.”

CNN took no disciplinary action against its anchor. The network issued a statement calling Chris Cuomo’s actions “inappropriate” and noting that it had previously barred him from covering news stories involving his brother.

In the early days of the pandemic, however, Governor Cuomo was a frequent guest on his brother’s CNN program, especially after Chris Cuomo, who is 13 years younger than the governor, tested positive for the coronavirus. The anchor’s on-air interviews with his brother, which Chris Cuomo conducted from isolation in the basement of his family home, riveted viewers and were praised by CNN’s president, Jeff Zucker.

On Tuesday, CNN aired coverage of Ms. James’s report, and the network carried Governor Cuomo’s televised response. At one point, the CNN anchor John King acknowledged his network colleague’s involvement in a brief statement to viewers.

“I want to put this on the record,” Mr. King said during his midday show. “Many of you know this, but the governor’s brother, Chris, works right here at CNN as an anchor. We should note that he was interviewed as part of this report, as someone who reached out to talk to his brother as this crisis was unfolding.”

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