An alleged incident of sexual harassment by Gov. Andrew Cuomo found in Attorney General Letitia James’ office’s Aug. 3 report is being reviewed and investigated by Nassau County Acting District Attorney Joyce A. Smith, her office said on Wednesday.
James’ office has confirmed that this alleged case of misconduct, one of the 11 uncovered in the five-month investigation of Cuomo, occurred at Belmont Racetrack.
“We are reviewing the deeply disturbing findings of the Attorney General’s report regarding the Governor’s alleged conduct,” Smith said. “We have requested the Attorney General’s records related to any incidents that occurred in Nassau County and will thoroughly and expeditiously investigate any potential crimes.”
The report stated that in 2019 in Belmont, an unidentified state police trooper dubbed “Trooper #1” claimed the governor “ran the palm of his left hand across her stomach in the direction opposite the direction that he was walking. The center of the governor’s hand was on Trooper #1’s belly button, and he pushed his hand back to her right hip where she kept her gun.”
Trooper #1 told investigators that she felt “completely violated because to me, like, that’s between my chest and my privates,” according to the report. She added that she and a senior investigator who witnessed the incident were “both still in shock about what happened,” according to the report, and “thought it was disgusting. We were creeped out.”
Investigators also interviewed the governor himself as a part of the probe. The report rejected Cuomo’s suggestions that his conduct was an innocent reflection of an affectionate Italian-American culture in which he was raised. Investigators found little credibility in his “blanket denials and lack of recollection as to specific incidents.”
“What these witnesses—and many others—described is not just old-fashioned, affectionate behavior,” the report concluded. “It was sexual harassment.”
Rita Glavin, a lawyer defending Cuomo against the sexual harassment complaints, released a lengthy “position statement” responding to the report, which she said “purposefully omits key evidence.” Glavin accused James of bias. Although the governor said the statement would refute each allegation, it didn’t make mention of Trooper #1.
-With Reuters, Briana Bonfiglio