After finding the allegations of sexual misconduct against former disgraced New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be credible the Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah has decided not to prosecute him.
The district attorney said that the women’s allegations were “credible” and the former governor’s conduct was “concerning,” but that it was not criminal under New York law, The New York Times reported.
The announcement came five days after Joyce Smith, the acting district attorney in Nassau County, on Long Island, reached a similar conclusion after investigating a separate allegation made by the trooper involving an incident at Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont, N.Y.
Ms. Smith said that her inquiry had found the accusation “credible, deeply troubling, but not criminal under New York law.”
A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo declined to comment. The former governor has repeatedly denied acting inappropriately with women, and he has insisted that the actions that gave rise to the sexual harassment allegations against him were misinterpreted.
“The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office conducted a thorough investigation into allegations reported by two women against former Governor Andrew Cuomo. Specifically, the alleged conduct, of which we are aware, that occurred in Westchester County is as follows,” the statement read.
“1- A woman, identified as Trooper 1 in the Attorney General’s Report, alleged that, when Cuomo was the Governor and Trooper 1 was a member of his detail and on duty at his home in Mount Kisco, she asked the Governor if he needed anything and he responded by asking her if he could kiss her. She further indicated that she was concerned about the ramifications of denying the Governor’s request and so she said “sure.” The Governor then kissed her on the cheek and, as indicated in the Attorney General’s report, “said something to the effect of, ‘oh, I’m not supposed to do that’ or ‘unless that’s against the rules,’” she said.
“2- A second woman has alleged (publicly and to our investigators) that Cuomo grabbed her arm, pulled her toward him and kissed her on the cheek without seeking permission for such a greeting while the two were at an event at White Plains High School.
“Our investigation found credible evidence to conclude that the alleged conduct in both instances described above did occur. However, in both instances, my Office has determined that, although the allegations and witnesses were credible, and the conduct concerning, we cannot pursue criminal charges due to the statutory requirements of the criminal laws of New York. This conclusion is unrelated to any possible civil liability which is beyond the scope of a District Attorney’s jurisdiction, which focuses solely on criminal laws,” the district attorney said.
“We continue to recognize the bravery of the women and witnesses who have cooperated with law enforcement and we remain committed to supporting them and all survivors. As in all cases of alleged misconduct, my Office will investigate such claims irrespective of the position or status of the accusers or the accused. We thank the Attorney General, the State Assembly and our sister DA Offices for their collaboration and cooperation,” she said.
In one of the investigations, a state trooper who was assigned to Cuomo said that the former governor asked, while she was son duty, if he could kiss her. She said she was fearful of what he could do to her if she said no so she obliged and he kissed her on the cheek.
New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association Thomas H. Mungeer, said that he “would not play Monday morning quarterback regarding the district attorney’s decision to not prosecute the former governor’s abhorrent conduct against a trooper.”
“However,” he said, “our trooper continues to live with what happened to her at the hands of someone she was tasked to protect.”