New York Lawmakers Dig Into Andrew Cuomo Report, Say His Team Isn't Entitled to See It First

Members of the New York Assembly's Judiciary Committee began going over a report Thursday on allegations against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying his team isn't entitled to see it first.

Rita Glavin, Cuomo's attorney, said the committee shouldn't release the findings until all information is shared with Cuomo.

Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Lavine again said the report would be released "soon." However, it's unknown when or if the Judiciary Committee will hold a meeting first. The committee will go over the report Thursday and Friday.

The report is expected to detail the committee's discoveries into allegations that Cuomo sexually harassed aides, downplayed the toll of COVID deaths in nursing homes, unethically used state resources for a book deal, and prioritized virus testing for members of his inner circle, The Associated Press reported.

The New York Assembly hired the law firm Davis Pol & Wardwell LLP in March to lead its impeachment investigation of Cuomo. The firm received a $5.1 million contract for the investigation, state contract records showed.

In August, Cuomo resigned and avoided a possible impeachment trial after allegations surfaced that he sexually harassed at least 11 women. Cuomo denied the allegations.

Republican assemblyman Mike Montesano said the report found that Cuomo made the work environment hostile, and corroborated allegations from a female state trooper and former Cuomo executive assistant Brittany Commisso.

The trooper said Cuomo's behavior was "creepy" and that she endured sexually suggestive comments, an unwanted kiss, and unwanted touching on her stomach and back from him. Commisso said Cuomo groped her breasts and also dealt with sexual remarks from him.

"Sexual harassment was part of the everyday workplaces in the executive chamber," Montesano said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Andrew Cuomo, Allegations, Report, Judiciary Committee
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, on May 27, 2020. The New York Assembly's Judiciary Committee will begin to dig into a report that details allegations against Cuomo, saying his team isn't entitled to see it first. Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo, File

Pushing back against allegations he misused state resources, Cuomo has said staff volunteered their time on his book, similar to how legislative employees may help at a campaign event at night.

But Montesano said the report found Cuomo used state resources and employees to produce his book in violation of the state's public officer's law.

Montesano said investigators looked at timesheets and testimony from Cuomo aides. He said the report is based on 600,000 pages of documentary evidence and the law firm's own interviews with 165 people, and is about 45 pages long.

"When he says it's political, it's all fact-based," Montesano said. Cuomo has said the investigation was politically motivated.

Regarding the investigation into deaths in New York's nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuomo says his administration for months excluded certain deaths from the state's toll of nursing home residents who died of the virus because it needed time to verify that data.

He's also said his administration provided priority testing to anyone who came in contact with Cuomo, not just his inner circle.

Assemblymember Tom Abinanti, a Democrat, reviewed the report Thursday but said he couldn't discuss any details.

"There's nothing in here that people will be surprised at," Abinanti said. He called it "succinct," "readable" and free of "legalese."

He expects Lavine, the judiciary committee chair, to announce next steps for the committee sometime Friday, after all members have reviewed the report.

Lavine told reporters Thursday that Cuomo didn't sit down with investigators to provide testimony for the investigation, and Glavin said the governor provided a written response.

Some lawmakers on the Assembly Judiciary Committee said Thursday they wouldn't comment until the report is public.

Lavine has previously said Davis Polk lawyers spoke with attorneys representing about 75 people and entities for the investigation, and reviewed "tens of thousands of pages of documents" ranging from emails and texts to photographs, personnel records, training materials and policies.

Andrew Cuomo, Allegations, Report, Judiciary Committee
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic nominee for New York City mayor, Eric Adams, hold a joint news conference in Brooklyn where the two leaders spoke on the rising rates of gun violence across the city on July 14, 2021 in New York City. Cuomo resigned not long after. Spencer Platt/Getty Images