Assembly releases findings of its impeachment investigation into Cuomo

More

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference earlier this year. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

An investigative report into several claims of misconduct made against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo was released Monday by the State Assembly, and concluded that the former governor engaged in sexual harassment, used state resources to write a book, and more.

The report is the result of an eight-month long investigation conducted by a private law firm retained by the Assembly, which was originally considering impeachment charges before the former governor resigned in early August.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, said that, although their probe is over, they’ll cooperate with any investigations that grow from the report, including those already underway.

“This has been a profoundly sad chapter in New York’s history,” Heastie said. “As we have throughout this process, we will continue to cooperate with all relevant investigative bodies to provide them with the evidence we have uncovered.”

The report was prepared by attorneys at the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, which reviewed more than 600,000 documents and collected testimony and other evidence from more than 200 individuals.

The investigation looked at nearly every claim of misconduct made against Cuomo this year, including allegations of sexual harassment, his administration’s handling of COVID-19 data related to nursing homes, claims that he used state resources to write a book, and more.

Cuomo resigned in August after a separate report from the Attorney General’s Office found several claims of sexual harassment made against the former governor to be credible. Cuomo has denied the allegations.

The Assembly’s report appeared to affirm the findings from the Attorney General’s investigation, saying that evidence collected as part of the probe — like emails, text messages, and other communications — lined up with the allegations.

“We conclude that there is overwhelming evidence that the former Governor engaged in sexual harassment,” the report said.

Investigators also found evidence supporting claims that Cuomo used state resources — including work by state employees while they were on the clock — to write his memoir, “American Crisis,” last year.

“One senior state official explained that book-related assignments were given by superiors and expected to be completed, and the work was not voluntary,” the report said.

The report also looked into whether the Cuomo administration mishandled data related to nursing home residents who died from COVID-19. About 15,000 nursing home and long-term care facility residents have died from the virus.

The Cuomo administration had released a report a few months into the pandemic last year that blamed the spread of COVID-19 at those facilities on staff who unknowingly had the virus, but didn’t show symptoms while they were at work.

The Assembly’s investigators didn’t dispute that finding, but said the Cuomo administration’s report was prepared in a way that focused on preserving the former governor’s public image. He’d been criticized at the time for an order that barred nursing homes from denying entry to COVID-positive residents.

“It was substantially revised by the Executive Chamber and largely intended to combat criticisms regarding former Governor Cuomo’s directive that nursing homes should readmit residents that had been diagnosed with COVID-19,” the Assembly’s report said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.