Police said on Thursday they have been notified that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) might have been involved in an alleged incident between him and a female aide that may have risen “to the level of a crime.”
It is the latest development in the ongoing sexual harassment saga for the embattled governor, who has been accused of such harassment by at least six women so far, some of whom being current and former members of his administration. Cuomo has repeatedly denied the claims made against him.
The Albany Police Department (APD) officials on Thursday said they received word from the New York State Police and the governor’s office.
The alleged incident took place at the Executive Mansion between Cuomo and a significantly younger female aide. On Tuesday, The Albany Times Union reported this most recent allegation, in which the woman recently told a supervisor in the executive chamber that Cuomo aggressively groped her late last year at the governor’s mansion, where he resides.
MORE ON CUOMO: Gov. Cuomo reacts to sixth sexual harassment accuser
The Times Union reported that the woman, whose identity the newspaper withheld since she could not be reached for comment, is a member of the executive chamber staff and had been summoned to the mansion to do work, according to an official close to the matter.
Steve Smith, a spokesman for the APD, told The New York Times that the department had not received a formal complaint from the woman, but that it had contacted a lawyer for her.
Smith also noted that this does not mean that the department has opened a criminal investigation, but that it has offered its services to the female aide, “as we would do with any other report or incident,” according to The New York Times.
Albany police officials said they heard from the state police on Wednesday night, per The New York Times, after the publication of the Times Union article.
According to Smith, after state police contacted the APD, the department’s deputy chief of police, Edward Donohue, who oversees the APD’s criminal investigation unit, subsequently spoke to the governor’s acting counsel, Beth Garvey.
Garvey confirmed in a statement that she reported the allegations and intiated the call, after a lawyer for the alleged victim informed the governor’s office that she did not want to file a report.
“As a matter of state policy, when allegations of physical contact are made, the agency informs the complainant that they should contact their local police department,” Garvey said. “If they decline, the agency has an obligation to reach out themselves and inform the department of the allegation.”
“In this case, the person is represented by counsel and when counsel confirmed the client did not want to make a report, the state notified the police department and gave them the attorney’s information,” the counsel added.
Currently, the accusations made against Cuomo are the subject of an independent investigation launched by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D).
On top of that, Cuomo’s administration is also in the crosshairs of a federal investigation into reports that his administration withheld number of COVID-related deaths in nursing homes from federal prosecutors, among other alleged things involving the nursing home data. Cuomo and his office have denied that they covered up the numbers.
For these scandals, a growing bipartisan group of state lawmakers are either calling for the governor’s resignation or his impeachment. Earlier this week, lawmakers began to pave the way for commencing impeachment proceedings.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
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