Cuomo Called for ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ for Sexual Harassment Years Before Investigation Determined He Sexually Harassed Women

Andrew Cuomo Governor of New York appears at the opening ceremony for the Tribeca Festival in the Manhattan borough of New York City on June 9, 2021. (Photo by CARLO ALLEGRI / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CARLO ALLEGRI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
CARLO ALLEGRI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who “sexually harassed current and former state employees, violating both federal and state law,” as announced by Attorney General Letitia James (D), once called for a stringent “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to sexual harassment.

“There should be a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment & must send a clear message that this behavior is not tolerated,” Cuomo declared in May 2013:

Years later, an investigation determined that Cuomo “sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law,” the state attorney general announced Tuesday.

The investigation, which began in March, found that the governor, specifically, “sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.” Harassment included “unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments,” according to the state attorney general.

Joe Biden (L) and Andrew Cuomo attend a rally for paid family leave on January 29, 2016 in New York City. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

On victim included a State Trooper assigned to protect him, whom the investigation found he harassed on a number of occasions, reportedly “running his hand across her stomach from her belly button to her right hip, while she held a door open for him at an event.” The investigation also found him accused of running his finger down her back, kissing her on the cheek, and making “sexually suggestive and gender-based comments.”

James added Cuomo’s administration “fostered a toxic workplace that enabled harassment and created a hostile work environment where staffers did not feel comfortable coming forward with complaints about sexual harassment due to a climate of fear.”

Cuomo continued to deny allegations of sexual assault throughout the year, only apologizing if his actions were misinterpreted. But ultimately, the Democrat governor said of James’ inquiry months ago, “The report can’t say anything different, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”

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