Politics

Cuomo sexual harassment report prompts inquiries by prosecutors in Manhattan, Westchester

Accusations of sexual harassment by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have prompted the district attorneys in Westchester County, Nassau County and Manhattan to investigate if any criminal misconduct occurred in their jurisdictions.

On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that an investigation by her office and a subsequent report found Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women, including employees, through unwanted behaviors that ranged from explicit comments to touching and kissing.

Cuomo vehemently denied the accusations in a video statement Tuesday, saying he never acted inappropriately and arguing his comments had been misinterpreted.

Westchester DA Miriam Rocah wrote in a letter to James obtained exclusively by NBC News that her office reviewed the attorney general’s report and believed some of the alleged conduct occurred in her jurisdiction.

“I believe it is appropriate for my Office to conduct a further inquiry to determine if any of the reported conduct that is alleged to have occurred in Westchester County is criminal in nature,” Rocah wrote.

Specifically, Rocah said, she is looking for information tied to the alleged harassment and unwanted touching of a New York State trooper who was initially assigned to the governor’s detail at his Mount Kisco, New York, residence, which is in Westchester County.

Rocah is requesting any investigative materials from James’ office including notes, reports or transcripts involving this trooper, as well as any materials involving any other alleged misconduct by the governor in Westchester. Rocah is a former legal analyst for MSNBC and a former contributor to NBC News’ THINK opinion section.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, Rocah confirmed that she sent the letter after learning the details of the report by James’ office.

“As some of the Governor’s conduct occurred in Westchester County, we have formally requested investigative materials obtained by the AG’s Office,” she wrote. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we will not comment further at this time.”

The report states that Cuomo harassed the trooper by “running his hand across her stomach, from her belly button to her right hip, while she held a door open for him” and “​​running his finger down her back, from the top of her neck down her spine to the middle of her back” while on an elevator. He also is accused of “kissing her (and only her) on the cheek in front of another Trooper and asking to kiss her on another occasion, which she deflected,” among other things, the report said.

A spokesperson for Manhattan DA Cy Vance said Wednesday his office also requested materials tied to James’ investigation of Cuomo.

“When our office learned yesterday that the Attorney General’s investigation of the Governor’s conduct was complete, our office contacted the Attorney General’s Office to begin requesting investigative materials in their possession pertaining to incidents that occurred in Manhattan,” the spokesperson said.

Also Wednesday, acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce A. Smith said her office is seeking materials from the New York attorney general’s probe of Cuomo.

“We are reviewing the deeply disturbing findings of the Attorney General’s report regarding the Governor’s alleged conduct,” Smith said in a statement. “We have requested the Attorney General’s records related to any incidents that occurred in Nassau County and will thoroughly and expeditiously investigate any potential crimes.”

Top Democrats across the country, including President Joe Biden, called on Cuomo to resign in the wake of the investigation.

Source:

www.nbcnews.com

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