Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds press briefing on August 2, 2021. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

'He Should Be Impeached': State Probe Finds Cuomo Sexually Harassed Multiple Women

"Andrew Cuomo is unfit to lead and must resign or be removed from office."

Jake Johnson

New York's Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo "violated multiple state and federal laws" by groping, kissing, and hugging current and former government employees without their consent; making inappropriate sexual comments; creating a toxic work environment; and retaliating against at least one former staffer who went public with her story.

"No man—no matter how powerful—can be allowed to harass women or violate our human rights laws, period."
—Letitia James, New York Attorney General

Those are the key findings of a months-long probe by a team of independent investigators appointed earlier this year by New York Attorney General Letitia James after multiple women came forward and accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, prompting calls for his resignation or removal.

In a 168-page report (pdf) released Tuesday, the investigators conclude that Cuomo "engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment under federal and New York State law."

The report, based in part on interviews with 179 individuals, continues:

Specifically, we find that the governor sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.

Our investigation revealed that the governor's sexually harassing behavior was not limited to members of his own staff, but extended to other state employees, including a State Trooper on his protective detail and members of the public. We also conclude that the Executive Chamber's culture—one filled with fear and intimidation, while at the same time normalizing the governor's frequent flirtations and gender-based comments—contributed to the conditions that allowed the sexual harassment to occur and persist. That culture also influenced the improper and inadequate ways in which the Executive Chamber has responded to allegations of harassment.

The investigators said that 11 women—including nine current or former state employees—accused Cuomo of sexual harassment.

"We found all 11 women to be credible," Anne Clark, an employment lawyer who helped led the probe, told the New York Times. "There was corroboration to various degrees."

State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, a Democrat, was among the lawmakers who called for the governor's immediate resignation on Tuesday:

In a statement announcing the findings, James said she is "grateful to all the women who came forward to tell their stories in painstaking detail, enabling investigators to get to the truth."

"This is a sad day for New York because independent investigators have concluded that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and, in doing so, broke the law," said James. "No man—no matter how powerful—can be allowed to harass women or violate our human rights laws, period."

During a press conference Tuesday, James called the report "deeply disturbing" and said it reveals "conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government."

Cuomo continued to deny the allegations on Tuesday, claiming he has never touched anyone inappropriately.

In response to the investigative team's findings, the New York-based Working Families Party (WFP) tweeted that "the facts are clear."

"Andrew Cuomo is unfit to lead," WFP wrote, "and must resign or be removed from office."

Zephyr Teachout, a law professor at New York's Fordham University, echoed that message, declaring, "If Andrew Cuomo doesn't resign immediately, he should be impeached immediately."

"New York can't function and provide the basic services of government with a dishonest, lawbreaking, toxic governor," Teachout said.

Bridget Todd, director of communications at advocacy group UltraViolet, said New York Democrats who called for the investigation must "take the results seriously."

"If Cuomo refuses to resign from office, we demand his timely removal by New York legislators," said Todd. "Anything less is unacceptable and a flagrant disregard for past, present, and future employees and residents of New York State."

This story has been updated with additional reactions to the report.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'This Cannot Happen': Biden DHS Seeks Contractor for Migrant Detention Center at Guantánamo Bay

The solicitation for bids—which requires some guards who speak Spanish and Haitian Creole—comes as the administration is under fire for mass deportations of migrants, including thousands of Haitians.

Jessica Corbett ·

Global Vaccine Goals 'Fall Terribly Short' Due to Big Pharma and Rich Nations' Greed: Experts

"Wealthy nations are using up the world's vaccine supply, and developing nations are suffering and losing thousands of people every day."

Brett Wilkins ·

11 Senators Support House Progressives' Push to Pass Full Biden Agenda

"We voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill with the clear commitment that the two pieces of the package would move together along a dual track."

Jessica Corbett ·

Ex-Prisoners Recall US Torture at 'Afghanistan's Abu Ghraib'

"It is psychologically hard for me to recall all that was happening," said one former Bagram Air Base inmate. "The torture was mostly done by Afghans, sometimes the Americans. But the orders came from the U.S."

Brett Wilkins ·

Rapid Shift to Electric Vehicles Could Create Over 150,000 Jobs in US by 2030

A new report says "smart" pro-labor policies by lawmakers would transform the "inevitable" shift to EVs "into a new beginning for U.S. producers and the rebuilding of a foundation for good jobs."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo