By Nathan Layne
An investigation has found that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and violated federal and state laws, New York state Attorney General Letitia James said on Tuesday.
"Specifically, the investigation found that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by engaging in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous offensive comments," James said.
There was no immediate comment from Cuomo's office. Cuomo, 63, has denied wrongdoing.
Investigators spoke to 179 people over the five-month investigation, including complainants and current and former members of the executive chamber, James said.
She said the investigation resulted in a "deeply disturbing yet clear picture" of what she called a "toxic workplace" and a "climate of fear" in which Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, many of them young, "by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging and by making inappropriate comments."
Cuomo and his team also retaliated against at least one former employee for complaining about his conduct, James said.
The announcement follows a months-long inquiry that was launched in March after two former aides accused the Democratic governor of harassing them in the workplace. Several other women subsequently came forward with accusations of misconduct, adding fuel to a scandal that has imperiled his administration and political future.