ALBANY — With three days left in office, outgoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his lawyer are hoping to alter the record regarding 11 allegations of sexual harassment outlined in a report from the state attorney general that ultimately led to the governor’s resignation.
On Friday, even as U-Haul moving trucks were spotted at the executive mansion, Cuomo’s personal lawyer Rita Glavin said in the next week she will be requesting Attorney General Tish James’ office add Cuomo-positive evidence to the damning 168-page report that was released Aug. 3.
She will also submit the proposed supplements to the Assembly’s Judiciary committee, to the extent legislators will include James’ report in their own determinations to be published at a future date — despite the impeachment investigation’s suspension.
“THE REPORT MUST INCLUDE THE EVIDENCE THAT IS FAVORABLE TO THE GOVERNOR,” read the title of one of the slides on Glavin’s video briefing.
Her message follows another Cuomo defense from his communications director, Rich Azzopardi, in a Daily News opinion piece that published Friday morning titled, “Gov. Cuomo has been railroaded: The governor’s adviser says the attorney general’s report is a sham.”
As she has done in video addresses and television interviews following the report, Glavin pushed back on the findings on several levels, including how certain events were characterized and whether sufficient context from interviews with Cuomo and others on his staff was included.
For instance, James’ report described an event where an unnamed woman said Cuomo patted and grabbed her butt while a photo was being taken. But an email the woman had sent afterward describing the incident only said that she remembered the governor “tapped” her butt cheek with his palm, not that he “grabbed” her, Glavin said.
“The report says he grabbed her butt — that’s not true, that’s not recorded in a contemporaneous email and we will ask the attorney general to correct the record,” Glavin said.
Glavin again cast doubt on the credibility of the former employees who testified, including Cuomo’s first accuser Lindsey Boylan, whose reputation Glavin called into question and whose testimony she said was politically motivated. Glavin said executive assistant Brittany Commisso lied when saying Cuomo “groped” her at the mansion, specifically because the timeline of her story is incongruent with Team Cuomo’s account.
Glavin also said that she will submit new “information” regarding the credibility of the second aide who accused Cuomo of regular sexual harassment, Charlotte Bennett. Glavin declined to elaborate “out of respect for her privacy.” She is further requesting the identities of certain individuals whose testimonies were anonymous.
James’ office once again reminded the public that Cuomo himself requested she conduct an independent investigation following the allegations of harassment.
“That investigation was exhaustive, thorough, and without outside influence, period,” James spokesperson Delaney Kempner said in a statement, shortly after Glavin’s presentation. “Given the multiple, ongoing criminal investigations into the governor’s conduct, it would not be appropriate to respond further to these baseless attacks … We cannot allow survivors of sexual harassment to be further traumatized by these continued attacks, lies, and conspiracy theories.”
It’s unclear exactly when Cuomo’s move-out will be complete, but he is set to leave office Monday at 11:59 p.m. As of Friday, he had not yet filed a resignation letter to the Legislature through the Secretary of State, as is outlined in state law.
His retirement is set to start Sept. 1.