Committee considers impeachment of NY Gov Andrew Cuomo following AG's investigative report
NEW YORK - The Governor of New York is accused of sexually harassing multiple women, creating a toxic and gender-biased work environment that allowed for his behavior, and the President of the United States has unofficially recommended that the governor step down in light of the accusations.
Andrew Cuomo, the 56th Governor of New York, began facing allegations of sexual harassment in late 2020.
After multiple women came forward with accounts of his inappropriate behavior, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced in February of 2021 that she would assemble a team to conduct an independent investigation into the accusations.
On Tuesday of this week, James released the findings of the analysis, concluding that Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 individuals and created a "hostile" work environment for women.
According to CNN, the investigation included interviews with 179 people who had regular interactions with the governor. Even the governor and his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, had conversations with investigators.
James' team also analyzed 74,000 pieces of evidence such as notes, emails, and other communications that related to the allegations.
The investigation revealed that a former aide to the governor said he "forcibly kissed her during a meeting" and invited her to play strip poker.
Another aide said that after she'd been asked to go to the governor's mansion in November of 2020, Cuomo got her alone and then reached under her blouse to grope her breast.
A multitude of similar accusations of unwanted touching, sexually charged comments and kissing were supported by evidence in the form of witnesses and follow-up communications after the incidents occurred.
These added to the plethora of evidence against the 63-year-old official and informed the Attorney General's conclusion that Cuomo had sexually harassed multiple women while serving as Governor of New York.
The investigation was civil in nature, meaning its findings will not result in any criminal actions.
That said, the report says Cuomo broke both state and federal laws, and complainants may file civil lawsuits against him.
In addition to potentially facing multiple civil lawsuits, a number of the governor's peers have spoken out against him, saying he should step down.
According to CNN, State Senate Majority Leader Andrew Stewart-Cousins said in a statement that Cuomo "can no longer serve as governor," and the state legislature has organized a committee tasked with conducting an impeachment examination.
In addition to this, President Joe Biden said of Cuomo, "I think he should resign. I understand that the state legislature may decide to impeach. I don't know that for a fact."
The Governor, who is the father of three children and son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, maintains that he is innocent.
After Attorney General James released her investigative report, Cuomo made a speech, denying all allegations made against him, saying, "I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances."
Following the release of James' investigative report into the accusations against Cuomo, the White House issued a message to the public, saying: "All women who have lived through ... this type of experience -- whether it is harassment or abuse or in the worst case, assault -- deserve to have their voices heard, deserve to be treated with respect and with dignity."
According to one survey, 69 percent of women have been sexually harassed in a professional setting, and 72 percent of workplace sexual harassment victims do not report the incidents.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines “sexual harassment” as unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
-Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment;
-Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
-Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance by creating an intimidating hostile or sexually offensive work environment.
Click here for more information on sexual harassment in the workplace.
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