Aug. 3 (UPI) — A months-long investigation of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has found that he sexually harassed multiple women both inside and out of government, the state’s top law enforcement official announced Tuesday.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the findings of the investigation, which was conducted by two attorneys and interviewed nearly 200 people.
The inquiry found that Cuomo took steps to retaliate against one of his accusers, James said, and that his administration fostered a hostile workplace.
“After nearly five months, the investigators concluded that Gov. Cuomo did sexually harass multiple women — including former and current state employees — by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments,” James’ office said in a statement.
“This is a sad day for New York because independent investigators have concluded that Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and, in doing so, broke the law,” James said.
“I am grateful to all the women who came forward to tell their stories in painstaking detail, enabling investigators to get to the truth. No man — no matter how powerful — can be allowed to harass women or violate our human rights laws, period.”
harassment and the alleged behavior has drawn calls from across the political spectrum for his resignation.
Cuomo denied the accusations and refused to resign in a video statement released after the findings were announced. He rejected allegations his office was toxic, saying instead it was a high-pressure environment.
“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances, ” he said. “I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”
Cuomo said he often hugs or kisses people on the cheek as a way to “convey warmth, nothing more.”
Earlier this year, he acknowledged that he may have made people feel uncomfortable, but said it was unintentional and offered an apology.
Investigators Joon Kim and Anne Clark interviewed 179 people and examined more than 74,000 documents as part of their investigation.
Cuomo didn’t immediately respond to the investigation’s report on Tuesday.