Report: State Trooper Assigned to Cuomo’s Protective Detail Among Those Harassed

1

An unnamed state trooper assigned to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s protective detail was among the women who accused the governor of harassment in a state attorney general’s report released Tuesday.

The state trooper told the investigators that she and Mr. Cuomo met briefly for a few minutes at an event in November 2017 at the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in New York City.

After the two met, Mr. Cuomo spoke to an unnamed senior member assigned to his protective detail and asked that the female trooper join the detail, the report said.

The woman was hired into the detail even though she did not meet the three years of experience with the State Police that was a requirement for the posting, the investigators said.

In an email cited in the report, the senior member of the detail who spoke with Mr. Cuomo told the woman, “Ha ha they changed the minimum from 3 years to 2. Just for you.”

After the woman was moved to Mr. Cuomo’s protective detail in January 2018, the governor “sexually harassed her on a number of occasions,” the report said. The woman told investigators that the governor’s behavior was “flirtatious” and “creepy” and that he did not act in a similar way toward men.

The woman told investigators about several offensive comments by Mr. Cuomo that made her uncomfortable, including multiple times when he criticized her for not wearing a dress, which she said she interpreted as a suggestion that she wear “tighter clothes.”

She also said she felt particularly uncomfortable when Mr. Cuomo once asked her why she wanted to get married, saying that “it always ends in divorce, and you lose money, and your sex drive goes down,” according to the report.

The trooper also described multiple instances in which the governor made unwanted physical contact. In an elevator in Mr. Cuomo’s Manhattan office, she said, he once stood behind her and ran his finger from the top of her neck down her spine to the middle of her back, saying “Hey, you,” she told investigators.

In the summer of 2019, when she was outside his home in Mt. Kisco, in Westchester County, she asked if Mr. Cuomo needed anything, to which he responded, “Can I kiss you?”

In that moment, she told investigators, she froze, wondering how she could politely decline without Mr. Cuomo somehow retaliating. So she replied, “Sure.” When Mr. Cuomo kissed her on the cheek, she said, he said something acknowledging that the behavior was improper. The incident was corroborated by another member of the protective detail, investigators said.

Mr. Cuomo then asked to kiss her on another occasion later that year, the trooper told investigators. That time she declined.

In September 2019, while the trooper was providing security at an event in Long Island and was holding open a door for Mr. Cuomo, he ran his hand across her stomach, from her belly button to her right hip, she said.

Understand the Scandals Challenging Gov. Cuomo’s Leadership

Card 1 of 5

A male State Police investigator told the attorney general’s legal team that he saw Mr. Cuomo touch her stomach and asked if she wanted to report it, according to the report. She said at the time that she was fearful of retaliation, he said.

Mr. Cuomo denied touching the female trooper on the stomach or the back and said that he may have once kissed her on the cheek at a Christmas party, according to the report.

A spokesman for the State Police said that the attorney general’s report was under review and declined to comment further.

Thomas H. Mungeer, the president of the union that represents New York state troopers, said in a statement that he was “outraged and disgusted” that one of his members assigned to ensure the governor’s safety “could not enjoy the same sense of security in her work environment that he was provided.”

The accusations against the governor seemed particularly shocking given that the trooper had taken an oath to uphold the law, some of the episodes occurred in front of other state troopers, and the trooper herself was armed.

“He’s in a position of power, even over an armed state trooper, and he took advantage of that,” Mr. Mungeer said in an interview.

Source

Comments are closed.