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Former governor Andrew Cuomo, who left the New York governor’s office back in August, is now being exposed for “overwhelming evidence” proving that he has sexually harassed at least 12 women, been dishonest in reporting COVID-19 death tolls, and forcing government employees to work on his memoir on the government’s dime.
As reported by NPR, Cuomo and his executive chamber revised state reports and excluded deaths in nursing homes in order to boost the ex-governor’s reputation. And in March, the Assembly Judiciary Committee hired the Manhattan law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell in order to investigate the potential grounds for Cuomo’s impeachment. This investigation was led by two independent attorneys, though they were chosen by Attorney General Letitia James. James and Cuomo are both Democrats.
According to the New York Daily News, Assemblyperson Ron Kim has accused Cuomo of misportraying “nursing homes to be safe havens for our older adults, when nothing could be further from the truth,” and siding with his own corporate interests rather than the interests of the population at large. This was likely done to set the ex-governor’s book deal with false narratives which would boost popularity and protect profits. The New York Times reports that huge numbers of dollars in funding went toward finishing the memoir and protecting Cuomo’s reputation, $5.1 million for the former and $18 million for the latter. Further, coronavirus tests were administered to Cuomo’s family and associates early on in the pandemic when these were more difficult to get, and there were a number of covered-up safety issues these investigations also needed to sift through.
There’s also evidence that government staff were forced to work on Cuomo’s book during work hours and were not voluntary to complete, though Cuomo’s spokesperson claims to the contrary. CNN cites those who suspect a political motive in the undercounting of the death toll in nursing homes, as well as in other aspects of the book.
In addition to this investigation, Cuomo resigned from office to avoid impeachment because of another investigation which revealed he sexually harassed 11 women. According to the New York Post, there is a 12th accuser who was not in the Assembly’s investigation. The Assembly went through this investigation and about 600,000 pages of documents provided by Davis Polk. Cuomo was not interviewed, but he did provide written submissions.
Despite the results of this investigation, Cuomo has denied any intent to touch anyone inappropriately or to make anyone uncomfortable, and this includes denial of some of the allegations. Fox News reports a statement from Charles Lavine, a Democrat on the judiciary committee, claiming that the investigation was conducted “with extreme diligence and thoughtfulness.”
He’s also reportedly requested access to evidence the Assembly investigators have against him, though his resignation from office has apparently caused him to forfeit the right to see those documents. Had he not resigned and had instead contested in the impeachment trial, he might have been able to access this evidence. And despite the fact that Cuomo claims to have been cooperative in the investigation, reports say that this isn’t the case and that Cuomo has provided little to no useful information that could be considered compliance.
Richard Azzopardi and Rita Glavin, Cuomo’s spokesperson and lawyer, respectively, have not commented on the investigation.