DOJ investigation: Andrew Cuomo subjected 13 women to 'sexually hostile' office

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the State of New York signed a workplace reform agreement Friday after the Biden administration found former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo created a “sexually hostile” work environment while in office.

The settlement between the DOJ and the New York State Executive Chamber, announced Friday, follows the conclusion of an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment filed against Cuomo.

The Department determined Cuomo “subjected at least thirteen female employees of New York State, including Executive Chamber employees, to a sexually hostile work environment” between 2013 and 2021, according to text of the agreement.

It continues, “Governor Cuomo repeatedly subjected these female employees to unwelcome, non-consensual sexual contact; ogling; unwelcome sexual comments; gender-based nicknames; comments on their physical appearances; and/or preferential treatment based on their physical appearances.”

The text also alleges that the chamber and Cuomo’s senior staff were aware of his conduct and the allegations against him, but failed to act accordingly.

“The Executive Chamber’s response was designed only to protect Cuomo from further accusations, rather than to protect employees from sexual harassment,” the DOJ wrote, claiming that retaliatory measures were taken against the victims who spoke out.

Upon Cuomo’s resignation, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul enacted a series of reforms, including removing employees from the executive chamber who reportedly engaged in the former governor’s misconduct. The new agreement expands on these by expanding the executive chamber’s Human Resources Department, among other things.

Cuomo stepped down from his role as governor in 2021 after Attorney General Letitia James (D) released reports accusing him of sexual harassment and mishandling nursing home death records during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuomo said he resigned as he didn’t want to cause a “distraction” but maintained his innocence.

“I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo said at the time.

Last week, Cuomo filed a lawsuit against James over access to the reports of harassment filed against him in 2021.

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