Governor Andrew Cuomo liked the specific state police he met at an event in November 2017. Within a few weeks, she became part of his personal safety details.
Despite lacking the necessary three years of experience, the young woman hired found the governor frivolous and a bit creepy, and getting worse over time.
Once, while riding in an elevator, the governor put his fingers on her neck and then slid off her back. He kissed her another time, and another time he stroked her belly with his palm, pressing it against her, when she opened a door for him.
“I feel completely violated,” she said. “But, you know, I’m here to do a job.”
The account was the result of a devastating 168-page report released by New York Attorney General Letitia James after five months of investigations into allegations of harassment by current and former state employees against Cuomo. Part.
Since the first accuser was made public in February, the governor of New York has insisted on his job regardless of the seriousness of politics, even if others think he is finished.
Cuomo refuted James’ report, insisting again that he never touched anyone improperly, and then pushed his plight in all directions-in the New York Times, his political opponent, a super-partisan political era.
The Democratic governor became a national celebrity for his decisive leadership in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when President Donald Trump seemed interested in minimizing the crisis.
But within hours after the report was released, Cuomo’s political support collapsed. Two US senators from New York, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, once again called on him to resign. President Joseph Biden agreed.
Perhaps more importantly, the influential black politicians in New York—including State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Brooklyn representative Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn— —Holding on to them as the scandal intensified — abandoning him.
“I know very well that the governor has lost the trust of the Democratic majority in Parliament and he cannot continue to serve,” said Hesti, who is seen as Cuomo’s last line of defense against impeachment.
The unions that benefited from Cuomo’s construction plan are also succumbing. A political strategist explained that business leaders who have long been obsessed with the governor cannot stand up for him because of the nature of these crimes and the needs of their employees.
“I think this is checkmate,” said the strategist. “I can’t see his way out.”
The reason for dispersing so many friends and allies is the weight and meticulousness of James’ report, which confirmed the allegations of harassment by 11 women, and the details are often unbearable.
An administrative assistant reported how Cuomo allegedly turned his flirting attention into an unwelcome groping when he reached under her shirt. “I was very shocked, I can only tell you, I just remember looking down and seeing his hand,” she told investigators.
There is also the young assistant Charlotte Bennett. After she confided to Cuomo about her sexual assault, she discovered that the governor was asking her about her sex life and her interest in older men. “I think I can help her through difficult times,” Cuomo explained on Tuesday, claiming that his support was misunderstood.
The report also lifted the veil of Cummer’s relentless political action as it mobilized to protect the injured boss. Last December, after former economic development official Lindsey Boylan tweeted about Como’s harassment, Melissa DeRosa and Rich Azopa Worried aides such as Rich Azzopardi debated whether to release a confidential employee file to the media. They finally did it.
With Cuomo’s assistance, they also drafted a letter signed by a former government official, questioning Boylan’s credibility and suggesting that she has political motives and may even have connections with Donald Trump. Dani Lever, a communications assistant who now works at Facebook, rejected the idea, calling it “victim humiliation,” and was eventually abandoned.
Cuomo later told investigators that the letter was written in accordance with Abraham Lincoln’s practice-as a catharsis that was never intended to be sent.
This is a far cry from the image of the father Cuomo portrayed when he hosted his daily Covid-19 briefing during the height of the pandemic, when he and his father Mario, who was governor of New York four times, had a poetic pasta dinner on Sunday. And gently rib his daughter’s boyfriend.
As more and more women came forward, Cuomo’s younger brother and CNN anchor Chris joined the crisis management kitchen cabinet. According to reports, he suggested repentance.
Cuomo tried it-at a “negligence” press conference in early March, he apologized for actions that might make women feel uncomfortable, but insisted that he never touched anyone improperly. The assistants emphasized the need to resume work.
Within a few days, Cuomo seemed to have regained his tough attitude. In a text message, former chief of staff Josh Flastto told his colleagues that another assistant, Steve Cohen, was asked to publish an opposition research report on Jin Jun, who was an outside lawyer hired by James to conduct the investigation. one. “Don’t think we want to get along with that group of people,” Vlasto wrote.
At about the same time, when Cuomo’s former secretary Larry Schwartz called to ask about their support for the governor, he was surprised. According to reports, Schwartz insisted when the discussion began: “I am not calling you about the vaccine.” Nevertheless, at least one county administrator thought the threat was implicit and expressed “shock and anxiety.”
For the investigators of the Attorney General, this behavior is not just a mistake or misjudgment, but a part of a pattern that makes it possible for a domineering — and ultimately abusive — governor.
“During our investigation, most of the witnesses who were not in the governor’s inner circle provided consistent narratives about the office culture of the Executive Council, describing it as’toxic’ and full of bullying behavior, unwavering loyalty to the governor and his Of senior employees are highly regarded,” they wrote.
They wrote that they paid tribute to Cuomo so much that “the governor seemed to believe that he had never misbehaved.”
If he is not impeached by the state legislature, few people think that Cuomo will step down quickly or easily. The governor, who is eager to win a fourth term next year to surpass the three terms of his father’s service, commented on his fundamental value to New Yorkers on Tuesday, saying: “In the end, we have done good things for people.”
Rudy Giuliani (Ken Frydman), who served as a communications consultant in his first New York mayoral campaign, said, “Only like Trump and Rudy, Cuomo is A shameless arrogant who completely denies, he can survive. Obviously, he is.”