• Gina Rullo

The Cuomo report is sickening



I love my home state of New York. I cannot abide the behavior of now former Governor Andrew Cuomo as outlined in the report from the office of New York Letitia James released on August 3.


You can read it here: https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/2021.08.03_nyag_-_investigative_report.pdf


In summation, “[W]e find that the Governor sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women. Our investigation revealed that the Governor’s sexually harassing behavior was not limited to members of his own staff, but extended to other State employees, including a State Trooper on his protective detail and members of the public. We also conclude that the Executive Chamber’s culture—one filled with fear and intimidation, while at the same time normalizing the Governor’s frequent flirtations and gender-based comments—contributed to the conditions that allowed the sexual harassment to occur and persist. That culture also influenced the improper and inadequate ways in which the Executive Chamber has responded to allegations of harassment,” the report stated.


Simply wonderful.


When will people learn that they cannot use their office (elected, corporate, etc.) to harass, intimidate or make others feel uncomfortable in a sexual way.


The word uncomfortable appears 78 times.


“Trooper #1 found these interactions with the Governor not only offensive and uncomfortable, but markedly different from the way the Governor interacted with members of the PSU who were men, and she conveyed these incidents contemporaneously to colleagues,” according to the report.


The word kiss and its derivations appears 88 times.


Here is an example from the report, “He also did not dispute that he gave regular hugs and kisses on the cheek and forehead. But he did dispute the way in which those actions had been interpreted by the complainants.”


Eww.


Do not hug and kiss your staff. Is that so hard? And don’t tell me it is cultural. I am as Italian as he is so that doesn’t work.


He, in my opinion, is a creepy predator.


Derivations of the word grope appears nine times.


“The next day, on March 9, the Times Union published an article describing the allegations of an anonymous current aide in the Executive Chamber, who was alleging that the Governor had groped her while at the Executive Mansion,” is one example of where the word grope appears.


Breast appears 25 times.


In one section, “The Governor then leaned in, with his face close to Ms. Limmiatis’s cheek, and said, ‘I’m going to say I see a spider on your shoulder,’ before brushing his hand in the area between her shoulder and breasts (and below her collarbone).”


Are you nauseous? I am.


If you spoke up, it seems, that intimidation (19 mentions) would come into play.


“For example, many current and former Chamber employees described: (1) a pattern and culture of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation that appeared to not only to be condoned, but expected and even promoted as an effective management technique and as evidence of strength and commitment...,” the report said.


And then there is the culture of covering up.


“As additional allegations of sexual harassment against the Governor surfaced in the spring of 2021, the Governor’s team of advisors from within and outside the Chamber had ongoing and regular discussions about how to respond to the allegations publicly. The group included the Governor, senior Executive Chamber staff Ms. DeRosa, Mr. Azzopardi, Peter Ajemian (the Governor’s Director of Communications at the time), Ms. Mogul, and Ms. Garvey. It also included Ms. Lacewell, Jefrey Pollock, Lis Smith, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Vlasto, Mr. Bamberger, and Ms. Lever, as well as the Governor’s brother Chris Cuomo,” the report said.


That is some group of protectors including a star of CNN, the mayor’s brother Chris Cuomo.


He has lost all credibility as a journalist. I think he needs to go on hiatus while he decides what he wants to be.


President Joe Biden said Governor Cuomo should resign. Numerous newspapers in New York called for Cuomo’s resignation. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have both said he should go. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said “Andrew Cuomo committed sexual assault and sexual harassment, and intimidated a whistleblower. It is disqualifying.”


“It is beyond clear that Andrew Cuomo is not fit to hold office and can no longer serve as Governor. He must resign, and if he continues to resist and attack the investigators who did their jobs, he should be impeached immediately,” according to a report on NBC New York.


New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee issued the following statement: “We are appalled at the findings of the independent investigation by the New York Attorney General. Governor Cuomo should resign from office.”


He finally announced his resignation on August 10, a week after the report came out. His resignation will take place in 14 days.


Have we seen this before? Yes, President Bill Clinton used his power position in his relationship with an intern.


You would think in the 20-plus years since we all learned about what the “meaning of the word ‘is’ is” that people in power positions would have adjusted their behaviors and treat their subordinates as human beings and not objects of their sexual affection.


I guess people like that derive pleasure from making others feel small and insignificant.


Speaking of President Clinton, he is mentioned in the report: “Ms. Boylan testified that the Governor showed her around his office, and pointed out a cigar box which he said was from Bill Clinton. Ms. Boylan felt that the Governor was pointing out the cigar box as an allusion to President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.”


Had the Democratic party failed to remove Cuomo from office then they would not have been taken seriously if and when they point the finger at a Republican or Independent with similar allegations or the next time they impeach a Republican official.


That’s how serious this issue was and is. It must always be taken seriously.


Otherwise this pattern of behavior will continue and will be excused in order to protect party favorites.


It is an issue that cannot be allowed no matter who it is.




Gina Rullo is the editor-in-chief of The Hammonton Gazette.