NEW YORK (AP) (UPDATED) - An investigation into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has found that he sexually harassed multiple current and former state government employees. State Attorney General Letitia James announced the findings Tuesday.
“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. “I am grateful to all the women who came forward to tell their stories in painstaking detail, enabling investigators to get to the truth. No man — no matter how powerful — can be allowed to harass women or violate our human rights laws, period.”
The investigation, conducted by two outside lawyers, found that the Cuomo administration was a “hostile work environment” and that it was “rife with fear and intimidation.” They also found that the governor and his senior staff took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee who spoke up about her experience.
The investigators interviewed 179 people and reviewed more than 74,000 documents, emails, texts and pictures as part of the investigation.
Cuomo faced multiple allegations last winter that he inappropriately touched and sexually harassed women who worked with him or who he met at public events.
Cuomo has always denied touching anyone inappropriately. Investigators say when he was interviewed under oath, the governor offered "blanket denials” and claimed he had a “lack of recollection as to specific incidents.”
The attorney general’s report is expected to play an important role in an ongoing inquiry in the state Assembly into whether there are grounds for Cuomo to be impeached.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie released the following statement after the AG's announcement:
"We have received the Attorney General's 168 page report containing findings of sexual harassment and misconduct committed by Governor Cuomo. The findings contained in the report are disturbing. The details provided by the victims are gut-wrenching. Our hearts go out to all the individuals who have had to endure this horrible experience. The conduct by the Governor outlined in this report would indicate someone who is not fit for office.
"The report has been forwarded to the members of the Judiciary Committee as well as all members of the Assembly. We will now undertake an in-depth examination of the report and its corresponding exhibits with our Assembly counsels as well the legal firm we have retained to assist us.
"We will have more to say in the very near future."
Cuomo remained defiant Tuesday following the investigation’s findings, saying that “the facts are much different than what has been portrayed” and appearing to reject calls to resign.
To read the full report, click here.