Andrew Cuomo is resigning - but criminal probes could still move forward

At least one criminal investigation is underway in Albany County, but more are possible

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave himself two weeks left in office after announcing his resignation amid a sexual harassment scandal involving allegations from 11 different women – but there may still be criminal consequences.

The state attorney general’s office released a 165-page report last week that found Cuomo’s alleged behavior violated state and federal law as well as his own policies between 2013 and 2020. Nine of the accusers were past or present state employees, and investigators interviewed 179 people and reviewed more than 74,000 pages of documents.

"What these witnesses—and many others—described is not just old-fashioned, affectionate behavior, it was sexual harassment," the report reads.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave himself two weeks left in office after announcing his resignation amid a sexual harassment scandal involving allegations from 11 different women – but there may still be criminal consequences.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave himself two weeks left in office after announcing his resignation amid a sexual harassment scandal involving allegations from 11 different women – but there may still be criminal consequences.

CUOMO SEXUALLY HARASSED MULTIPLE WOMEN IN VIOLATION OF STATE AND FEDERAL LAW, NY AG FINDS

At least five district attorneys from around the state have asked for materials from the probe to explore whether they might open criminal investigations into the governor.

So what happens next?

There is already a criminal investigation into Cuomo in Albany County, N.Y. based on allegations from Brittany Commisso, a former assistant to the governor, who accused him of fondling her in the Executive Mansion last year and touching her backside in a separate incident.

"I give the Governor credit for putting New York first, although our investigation was never about his office," Albany Sheriff Craig Apple said in a statement. "Today’s announcement will have no effect on our investigation. We still have a complaint and an allegation of criminal conduct. Our investigation continues."

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Last week, he told the New York Post that if Commisso’s allegations are substantiated the governor could be arrested and prosecuted on misdemeanor charges. He could also face civil lawsuits from his accusers, at least one of whom has said she plans to file one.

"The end result could either be it sounds substantiated and an arrest is made and it would be up to the DA to prosecute the arrest," he told the newspaper. "Just because of who it is we are not going to rush it or delay it."

Cuomo has denied the allegation and his attorney claimed it was completely fabricated last week.

"He is 63 years old. He has spent 40 years in public life and for him to all of the sudden be accused of a sexual assault of an executive assistant that he really doesn’t know, doesn’t pass muster," Rita Glavin, the governor’s lawyer, said Friday.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares declined to comment on the resignation Tuesday but his office said the investigation remained open. Last week, he asked other potential victims to reach out to his office in a televised interview.

CUOMO ACCUSERS REACT TO GOVERNOR'S RESIGNATION

It’s possible that prosecutors in other parts of the state may conduct their own investigations – and the Department of Justice could open one as well.

In late July, the Justice Department dropped a civil rights inquiry into Cuomo’s handling of the coronavirus death toll on nursing homes in New York, although other federal investigations remained open. Last week, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division announced a new investigation into police – but no word on Cuomo. The outgoing governor faces separate scrutiny over his $5 million book deal about his coronavirus leadership and questions about whether well-connected friends and relatives got inside access to early COVID-19 testing.

President Biden told reporters he "respects" Cuomo’s decision to step down Wednesday afternoon. He had called on him to resign last week.

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The AG report alleged that Cuomo took part in "unlawful retaliation" against Lindsey Boylan, one of the accusers, in addition to sexually harassing the group and creating a toxic workplace for those who were state employees.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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