State Watch — Verizon

Cuomo accuser in first public interview says ‘what he did to me was a crime’

CBS This Morning/Times Union

A former executive assistant for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who was one of the 11 women to accuse him of sexual harassment in a new report, sat for her first public interview where she called the governor’s actions against her constitute a “crime.”

Brittany Commisso has been identified as “Executive Assistant #1” in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) report into allegations against the governor, which was released on Tuesday.

The report said Cuomo “engaged in a pattern of inappropriate conduct” with Commisso, including close and intimate hugs, kisses on the cheeks, forehead, and at least once on the lips, touching and grabbing her butt during hugs and comments and jokes made about her personal life and relationships.

Commisso also said Cuomo “reached under her blouse and grabbed her breast” at one point, according to the report.

Commisso filed a criminal complaint with the Albany County Sheriff’s office on Thursday. Sheriff Craig Apple told reporters on Saturday that the office is in the early stages of its investigation, but did say he could face misdemeanor charges if the accusations are substantiated by investigators.

He said there will be a “very comprehensive” probe in conjunction with the Albany County district attorney’s office.

When asked why she decided to file a criminal complaint with the sheriff’s office, Commisso told “CBS This Morning” and the “Times Union” in her first public interview that Cuomo “needs to be held accountable.”

“It was the right thing to do,” she added.

When pressed on if being held accountable means being charged with a crime, Commisso said the governor broke the law.

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

James released her report into accusations against the governor last week, which detailed accounts from 11 women who said Cuomo sexually harassed them.

The investigation found that Cuomo violated state and federal laws and that he and his aides retaliated against a former employee who came forward with accusations.

Cuomo has refused to resign amid the report, despite calls from President Biden and the entire New York congressional delegation to step down. He has maintained that he did not touch anyone inappropriately.

Rita Glavin, Cuomo’s personal lawyer, argued during a virtual news conference this weekend that Commisso, who had not yet been identified publicly, was not alone with Cuomo on the Executive Mansion the day she alleges the governor groped her, according to The New York Times.

Glavin said she was sent to the building for other reasons than what she said, and that Commisso did not express concerns about the day in emails to others.

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