Cuomo executive assistant comes forward, alleges NY governor 'broke the law'

Cuomo executive assistant comes forward, alleges NY governor 'broke the law'

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “broke the law” and must be held accountable, a former executive assistant to the Democratic governor said in her first public comments since accusing him of sexual assault.

Brittany Commisso was identified as “Executive Assistant #1” in the explosive report last week by state Attorney General Letitia James accusing Cuomo of sexually harassing 11 women, including current and former state employees, from 2013 to 2020. The aide testified that Cuomo grabbed her butt while they took a selfie in the executive mansion in 2019 that in 2020, he reached under her blouse and grabbed her breast.

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Commisso revealed her identity for the first time during an interview with “CBS This Morning” and the Albany Times Union, which will air in its entirety Monday morning.

“What he did to me was a crime,” she said in the interview. “He broke the law.”

Commisso on Thursday became the first of Cuomo’s accusers to file a criminal complaint against him. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said Saturday his office was investigating the matter.

“It was the right thing to do,” Commisso said in the interview about her decision to come forward. “The governor needs to be held accountable.”

Rita Glavin, an attorney for the governor, said Friday that emails allegedly undermining Commisso’s story were not included in James’ investigation. 

“I’m a former federal prosecutor and I know the difference between putting a case together against a target, versus doing independent fact-finding with an open mind,” Glavin said. “And there has been no open-minded fact-finding in this case. The investigation was conducted to support a predetermined narrative and in our legal system, both sides are heard and given access to the evidence, but here, instead of acting as independent fact-finders, the investigators acted as prosecutors, judge, and jury.”

Fabien Levy, a spokesman of the state attorney general, criticized Glavin’s comments as “unfortunate.”

“After multiple women made accusations that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed them, the governor, himself, requested that Attorney General James oversee an independent investigation,” Levy said in a statement. “The independent investigators selected are widely respected professionals, recognized for their legal and investigatory ability. To attack this investigation and attempt to undermine and politicize this process takes away from the bravery displayed by these women.

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“There will be a rolling production of interview transcripts made available to the state Assembly, which will be redacted as needed,” he said.

Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing following the state AG’s report and has refused widespread calls to resign. The New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee is expected to complete its impeachment probe later this week.