New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, and violate both federal and state laws, said the state's Attorney General Letitia James in a newly released report.
The report, released Tuesday, based off of the work of an independent investigation led by Joon H. Kim and Anne L. Clark and lasted around five months.
“We, the investigators appointed to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, conclude that the Governor engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment under federal and New York State law,” states the Executive Summary of the report.
“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.”
The report went on to conclude that Cuomo not only abused members of his staff, but others, including “a State Trooper on his protective detail and members of the public.”
The investigators labeled Cuomo’s administration as one with a culture of “fear and intimidation” which “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,” added the report.
James said in a statement released Tuesday that she believed it was “a sad day” that the report confirmed the multiple allegations of sexual harassment.
“I am grateful to all the women who came forward to tell their stories in painstaking detail, enabling investigators to get to the truth,” James continued.
“No man — no matter how powerful — can be allowed to harass women or violate our human rights laws, period.”
For his part, Cuomo said in a speech on Tuesday that the investigation has been a painful one for his family and that he denied the findings of the report.
“I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” said Cuomo, according to CNN, which employs the governor's brother, Chris Cuomo.
Starting last December, multiple women came forth accusing Cuomo of sexually harassing them, with former Cuomo staffer Lindsay Boylan detailing allegations in an essay posted online in February.
These allegations include a reported plane trip in October 2017 in which Cuomo sat too close to her and made a crude remark. On another occasion, she alleges that he kissed her on the lips.
“Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected,” wrote Boylan at the time.
“His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right. He used intimidation to silence his critics. And if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences.”
Cuomo denied all allegations of misconduct, as many called for him to step down as governor in light of the claims of sexual harassment and other issues with his administration.