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NY Assembly finds evidence of sexual harassment by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo

NY Assembly finds evidence of sexual harassment by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at One World Trade Center in New York City on June 15. A state assembly report documents numerous accounts of sexual harassment allegations against him. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 22 (UPI) -- The New York State Assembly's Judiciary Committee released a report on its investigation into former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, detailing evidence he engaged in sexual harassment, utilized state resources to write a book and hid nursing home death numbers during the coronavirus pandemics.

The report also said despite the charges, it could not impeach Cuomo because he has already left office. The report, done by the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, was released by Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavine Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

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In the report, the committee found Cuomo engaged in multiple instances of sexual harassment and created a hostile work environment in the process. The report cites "overwhelming evidence" of sexual harassment committed by the former governor.

Part of that testimony came from Brittany Commisso, an executive assistant in the executive chamber and an unnamed state trooper.

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The investigation discovered Cuomo utilized state resources and property, including work by executive chamber staff, to write, publish and promote his book. The report said the book guaranteed Cuomo at least $5.2 million in personal profit while using the state's staff and resources.

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The committee also said Cuomo was not fully transparent to the public regarding the number of nursing home residents who died as a result of COVID-19.

"This has been a profoundly sad chapter in New York's history," Heastie said in a statement. "I commend Chairman Charles Lavine, the members of the Judiciary Committee and the team at Davis Polk for their hard work and diligence in completing this investigation. As we have throughout this process, we will continue to cooperate with all relevant investigative bodies to provide them with the evidence we have uncovered."

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Lavine said Cuomo's conduct was "extremely disturbing" and was "indicative of someone who is not fit for office."

The report said the state constitution clearly states impeachment was reserved to remove an official from office and does not address former officials.

"Then-Governor Cuomo resigned from office on Aug. 10, 2021, before Articles of Impeachment were considered by the assembly," the report said. "As noted above, committee staff counsel advised that the assembly cannot impeach a former state official who resigned from office. Based on our review, we believe that this conclusion was reasonable and supported by law."

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