If you’ve been idly wondering, “Whatever happened to all of those misconduct allegations against Andrew Cuomo?” some answers are forthcoming.
A little more than two weeks ago, investigators appointed by the Attorney General Leticia James interviewed Cuomo for some 11 hours, asking him for extensive detail about his interactions with women colleagues. According to the New York Times, investigators have also collected “hours of testimony” from Cuomo’s accusers, along with multiple aides and staff members closest to the governor. Lawyers also asked about the general work culture in Cuomo’s office, and the dubious conditions under which he put together his covid memoir. A public report on the results of the probe is expected to drop by the end of the summer.
As the Times notes, Cuomo has become much more intent on discrediting his several accusers in recent months. While treading carefully at first, Cuomo seemed to grow impatient amid mounting calls for his resignation and the beginnings of an independent inquiry. Just a couple of weeks after sort of apologizing for his behavior—and more or less admitting to some of what was being alleged—Cuomo flipped, hosting a press conference where he said: “Serious allegations should be made seriously. There are facts and there are opinions, and I’ve always separated the two. ... What is being alleged just did not happen.”
Now, Cuomo and his aides are trying to cast aspersions on James’s inquiry, focusing in particular on one of the lawyers hired by James, who has conducted previous investigations into the governor. “The continued press leaks from this investigation”—referring to the Times’ own story—”provide further evidence about the documented bias of these reviewers,” a senior adviser to Cuomo told the Times.
Comments like these are of course designed to preempt the results of said investigation: If Cuomo is determined to have done what his accusers say, he could face criminal exposure, which involves a “misdemeanor or possibly a violation under the penal law,” according to a former member of the state district attorneys association.
On the one hand, Cuomo has acknowledged that some of his behavior might be received as “unwanted flirtation,” and there is even photographic evidence supporting one of his accusers’ claims. On the other hand, it is rare that men like Cuomo ever get their comeuppance. Now more than ever, accused harassers and abusers simply concede that their behavior is bad, perhaps knowing that the consequences will be minimal.