Updated: August 20, 2021 06:37 PM
Created: August 20, 2021 03:45 PM
ALBANY, N.Y. (WHEC) — The bombshell attorney general's report that brought Gov. Andrew Cuomo down from his 11-year reign concluded that he did sexually harass multiple women, and in doing so, violated state and federal laws.
Today his attorney again made the claim that the report is full of errors. Rita Glavin wants that report made complete before it goes to the assembly judiciary committee for review.
“Here's the next photo as he's walking away from Ms. Virginia’s Limmiatis at the interaction. There's no indication – I think a picture speaks a thousand words,” Glavin said, referring to a photo taken at the 2017 Salmon River conservation event.
Glavin said more evidence is needed to defend her client, like in the instance where Limmiatis alleged the governor pressed his fingers across her chest at the conservation event.
“The public should see all of the photos taken from that event and make a judgment, and the assembly should make a judgment for themselves about the governor's conduct that day,” Glavin said.
The governor’s lawyer says the findings from the attorney general’s report lack proper wording or important supplemental information, such as an email contradicting the report of the governor allegedly grabbing another victim's butt.
“What the email states is that 'my boss and I stood on either side of Gov. Cuomo, and we took a couple of pictures with the governor’s photographer. When departing from taking the picture, Gov. Cuomo tapped my butt cheek two times. Two quick taps with what I felt to be the palm of the hand,’” Glavin read.
Gov. Cuomo’s attorney also claims to have new information undermining the credibility of Charlotte Bennett. Shortly after, Bennett and her attorney issued statements, and in a tweet, Bennett responded saying she will not be intimidated by the outgoing governor or his lawyer.
I will not be intimidated by the outgoing Governor or his lawyer. https://t.co/ykphcSGDlN— Charlotte Bennett (@_char_bennett_) August 20, 2021
In addition to some victim's responses, the attorney general's office issued a statement as well:
“After multiple women made accusations that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed them, the governor, himself, requested that Attorney General James oversee an independent investigation. That investigation was exhaustive, thorough, and without outside influence, period.
“Given the multiple, ongoing criminal investigations into the governor’s conduct, it would not be appropriate to respond further to these baseless attacks. The 168-page report and additional 486 pages of exhibits clearly corroborate the experiences of the complainants, yet the governor and his aides continue to undermine those who seek to expose this dangerous conduct.
“We cannot allow survivors of sexual harassment to be further traumatized by these continued attacks, lies, and conspiracy theories.”
WATCH: Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes on the impeachment investigation
Attorney Debra Katz, who represents Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett, released the following statement on Glavin's briefing:
“Governor Cuomo’s apologies rang hollow when he made them. His excuses for his behavior—that times had changed and he was not aware that kissing and hugging subordinate employees was unlawful—were pathetic. And his more recent attempts to paint himself as a victim of a politically motivated takedown or a patriot who stepped down for the sake of New Yorkers were inane. Apologies without change are nothing more than manipulation.
Today, the Governor is back to showing his true colors. He unleashed his lawyer and PR apparatus in an effort to smear Charlotte and the other women who courageously came forward. He cares not a whit for the people he has harmed.
The Governor’s lawyer claimed today that she possesses “new information” relating to Charlotte’s credibility. Her rank insinuation that Charlotte is a liar flies in the face of the Attorney General’s express finding that Charlotte’s allegations against the Governor were credible. It also contradicts the Governor’s own Special Counsel, Judy Mogul, and Chief of Staff, Jill DesRosiers, who found Charlotte’s allegations credible when she first reported them more than a year ago. Charlotte will not be intimidated by the Governor or his operatives.
Since the Governor appears not to understand the very workplace protections he signed into law, we remind him that disparaging the women who reported his sexual harassment at work is retaliation, plain and simple—no matter whether they still work for him.
To reiterate: An apology without change is merely manipulation. The Governor’s efforts to explain away his behavior as benign are classic examples of gaslighting, and his claims that he did not know his actions were unlawful are foolish. Professed ignorance of the law is not, and never has been, an excuse. Finally, smearing Charlotte, as his lawyer did today, is actionable post-employment retaliation. The Governor would be wise to think twice before holding another press conference.”
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