NY Lawmakers Approve Probe Into Sexual Misconduct Accusations Against Cuomo

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2020/06/24: Governor Andrew Cuomo makes an announcement and holds media briefing at 3rd Avenue office. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont joined Cuomo with announcement of  incoming travel advisory that all individuals traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. This quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) makes an announcement and holds media briefing at 3rd Avenue office on June 24, 2020. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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March 12, 2021 9:03 a.m.

The New York State Assembly gave its Judiciary Committee the green light to investigate the growing allegations of sexual misconduct against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Thursday after the latest accusation was reported to law enforcement.

“The reports of accusations concerning the governor are serious,” Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie (D) said in a statement. “The committee will have the authority to interview witnesses, subpoena documents and evaluate evidence, as is allowed by the New York State Constitution.”

Cuomo has been accused of sexual harassment by six women. The latest accuser, who is one of the governor’s aides, alleges that he groped her under her blouse in his private residence last year.

Beth Garvey, Cuomo’s acting counsel, told the New York Times on Thursday that she reported that allegation to the Albany Police Department after the aide, who remains unidentified, had declined to do so.

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“As a matter of state policy, when allegations of physical contact are made, the agency informs the complainant that they should contact their local police department,” Garvey said. “If they decline, the agency has an obligation to reach out themselves and inform the department of the allegation.”

Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement on Thursday that her investigation into the allegations would not be impacted by the State Assembly’s move.

“Today’s action by the New York state legislature will have no bearing on our independent investigation into these allegations against Governor Cuomo,” she said. “Our investigation will continue.”

More than 55 Democrats in both the State Assembly and the New York Senate have called on Cuomo to resign.

The governor has refused to do so and reportedly told state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) that impeachment would be the only way he would leave office.

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