Disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) will not face criminal charges in Westchester for alleged sexual misconduct that occurred there, county officials announced Tuesday.
Westchester County District Attorney Miriam “Mimi“ Rocah (D) said in a press release that while the incidents appear to have occurred, charges won’t be pursued because of the “statutory requirements of the criminal laws of New York.”
“Our investigation found credible evidence to conclude that the alleged conduct in both instances described above did occur,” the DA’s press release said. “However, in both instances, my Office has determined that, although the allegations and witnesses were credible, and the conduct concerning, we cannot pursue criminal charges due to the statutory requirements of the criminal laws of New York. This conclusion is unrelated to any possible civil liability which is beyond the scope of a District Attorney’s jurisdiction, which focuses solely on criminal laws.”
Both of the incidents under investigation had already been made public.
One involved a State Trooper identified as Trooper #1 in Attorney General Letitia James‘ (D) August report detailing the allegations against Cuomo.
In the summer of 2019, the trooper was assigned to the Protective Services Unit (PSU), the team charged with protecting the governor. The alleged incident took place while she was on duty at the Cuomo’s home in Mount Kisco.
“Trooper #1 was stationed outside the Mt. Kisco residence and approached the Governor in the driveway to ask if he needed anything,” the AG’s report said, describing the incident. “At this point, the Governor responded, ‘Can I kiss you?’ Trooper #1 testified, ‘I remember just freezing, being—in the back of my head, I’m like, oh, how do I say no politely because in my head if I said no, he’s going to take it out on the detail. And now I’m on the bad list.’ Unsure what to do, she replied, ‘Sure.’ The Governor then proceeded to kiss Trooper #1 on the cheek and said something to the effect of, ‘oh, I’m not supposed to do that’ or ‘unless that’s against the rules.'”
According to the AG’s report, the harassment started after Trooper #1 was transferred to the PSU allegedly at Cuomo’s request. The report indicates that an experience requirement was waived in order to allow the trooper to join the PSU.
The second incident in Westchester County allegedly happened in White Plains.
“A second woman has alleged (publicly and to our investigators) that Cuomo grabbed her arm, pulled her toward him and kissed her on the cheek without seeking permission for such a greeting while the two were at an event at White Plains High School,” the press release from Rocah’s office says.
This incident was not detailed in James’s report, but an August report in the the Westchester Journal News appears to provide details of a 2018 incident matching the DA’s description.
The news from Rocah’s office comes days after the acting district attorney for Nassau County on Long Island announced that Cuomo would not face criminal charges there either. Prosecutor Joyce Smith said her office had conducted an “exhaustive investigation” into a female state trooper’s accusations that Cuomo had touched her inappropriately when she was on duty during a 2019 event.
Her office found the allegations to be “credible, deeply troubling, but not criminal under New York law,” the New York Times reported Thursday.
In November, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office charged Cuomo with forcible touching, a misdemeanor. The Albany County district attorney’s office has said the charge may be “potentially defective,” according to the New York Times, but records show a Jan. 7, 2022 court date is still pending.
Cuomo resigned in August amid multiple complaints and investigation into claims of sexual harassment and misconduct. He has continued to deny the allegations.
[Image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images]
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