By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – New York state’s attorney general said Tuesday that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and violated federal and state laws.
State Attorney General Letitia James released the results of a months-long investigation that included interviews with 179 individuals.
Among those questioned were women who accused the governor of misconduct, Cuomo himself, and a coterie of his top advisers. “This investigation has revealed conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government,” James said at a news conference.
The probe was launched after multiple women accused Cuomo of inappropriate personal comments or unwelcome physical contact.
Several Democratic New York lawmakers, including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, urged Cuomo to step down.
“The New York State Attorney General has conducted an independent, thorough and professional investigation that found the Governor violated state and federal law, had a pattern of sexually harassing current and former employees, retaliated against at least one of the accusers, and created a hostile work environment,” Schumer and Gillibrand added in a joint statement.
NOBODY ABOVE LAW
“No elected official is above the law,” Schumer and Gillibrand added. “The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor’s office. We continue to believe that the Governor should resign.”
Cuomo, a third-term Democratic governor who has served in the post since 2011, denied wrongdoing. He called the findings inaccurate and unfair and added his words, gestures, and demeanor were misinterpreted and were always intended to convey warmth to the women.
Cuomo, a divorced father of three adult daughters, said he is sorry if his accusers misunderstood his behavior. He said he would “not be distracted” from his work battling the COVID-19 pandemic, making clear he doesn’t plan to leave office.
“I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo stressed. “I am 63 years old. I’ve lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am. And that’s not who I have ever been.” He added: “The facts are much different than what has been portrayed.”
Distracting from the scandal, Cuomo earlier announced a coronavirus vaccine mandate for all public transit workers across the state.
He warned that those who refuse to receive the experimental jab by the Labor Day deadline would be tested regularly.
“I don’t believe a mask policy is going to be enough,” Cuomo said on Monday. “I think we’re going to have to talk about a vaccination policy.”
And New York City will become the first U.S. city to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for indoor dining, drinking, nightclubs, gyms, and performances, Mayor Bill de Blasio added Tuesday.
“We’re going to use every tool we’ve got to fight the Delta variant,” de Blasio said in a press conference. “That means more and more vaccinations.”
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