A long-awaited report from the New York State Assembly finds former governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, used state resources for his own personal benefit while drafting his memoir in violation of state ethics laws, and withheld information from the public regarding the deaths of nursing home residents from COVID.

The newest revelations are related to Cuomo’s use of state resources during the writing and promotion of his book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic that earned him a $5.2 million dollar book contract.

Top aides sent thousands of emails about the book, claimed to have volunteered their time for the project despite devoting hours during the normal work day, and helped promote and track the book’s sales, the report details.

The newest revelations are related to Cuomo’s use of state resources during the writing and promotion of his book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic that earned him a $5.2 million dollar book contract.

Top aides sent thousands of emails about the book, claimed to have volunteered their time for the project despite devoting hours during the normal work day, and helped promote and track the book’s sales, the report details

The investigators also confirmed staffer Brittany Commisso’s allegation that Cuomo groped her in the executive mansion citing new evidence, and confirmed media reports that Cuomo and his top aides were directly involved in efforts to shield the full tally of nursing home deaths from the public.

The former governor and his attorneys thwarted assembly investigators’ attempts to gather information throughout the investigation, according to the report's authors from the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Cuomo’s office ignored most of their subpoenas for documentation and ultimately stymied certain aspects of the probe altogether, like an investigation into a potential coverup of structural issues on the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, as revealed by the Times Union, the report stated.

“[They refused] to comply in any meaningful way with the Committee’s requests and subpoenas, despite public pledges of his cooperation on numerous occasions,” the report said.

Richard Azzopardi, Cuomo’s campaign spokesperson, called the report “hypocritical, revisionist,” and reiterated Cuomo’s long-standing assertion that any investigation or accusation about him is politically motivated. Some of the assembly’s report cites interviews and documentation from James’ report, though its investigators also cite their own fact-finding and interviews with accusers.

“Any report that uses the Attorney General’s politically biased investigation as a basis is going to be equally flawed,” Azzopardi said. “The truth will come out.”

Davis Polk’s team, hired under a $5.12 million contract, interviewed more than 200 witnesses and reviewed 600,000 pages of documents and evidence to draw their conclusions.

“The former governor’s conduct – as shown in this report – is extremely disturbing and is indicative of someone who is not fit for office,” said Assembly Judiciary Chair Charles Lavine. “I hope this report helps New Yorkers further understand the seriousness of the allegations that have been made.”

The New York State Assembly first launched their probe in March, in what they said at the time, might have led to an impeachment vote. While some of the former governor’s staunchest critics wanted the Assembly to proceed with impeachment even after Cuomo’s resignation, the report argues that such a proceeding would extend beyond what’s laid out in the state constitution and would violate the legislative history of impeachment in the state, citing a report on the matter from 1853.

Despite the latest legal analysis, Assembly Member Ron Kim, the first lawmaker to call for Cuomo’s resignation in March, once again demanded Cuomo be impeached by the state legislature.

“Impeachment is not just the physical removal of Andrew Cuomo, it is the indictment and removal of his criminal misconduct from our legislative body,” Assemblymember Kim said. “I am, once again, demanding the impeachment of the former governor, Andrew Cuomo."

The report doesn’t make any specific recommendations, but underlying documentation and evidence investigators uncovered will be passed off to authorities still investigating the former governor; namely State Attorney General Letitia James who is looking at Cuomo’s book deal, federal investigators who are reprotedly probing his handling of nursing home data, and various district attorneys considering sexual harassment allegations.

Here’s a summary of the latest report into Cuomo’s conduct in office.

Cuomo “Utilized State Resources And Property” To Work On His $5.2 Million Book Deal

The former governor began to engage with publishers about a potential book as early as March 19th, 2020, a day ahead of Cuomo’s announcement that the state would go into lockdown, as COVID-19 infections were spiking across the state. On that date, an employee at the publisher Penguin Random House contacted a literary agent representing Cuomo about writing a book.

The first meeting between the former governor and publishers was July 6, 2020, the same date the state’s Department of Health released its report about the effects of COVID-19 on nursing home residents. Publishers made clear to the former governor that the book deal came with a strict deadline ahead of the 2020 presidential election. A bidding war between various publishing companies began on July 8th, pushing Cuomo’s payout from $750,000 to more than $5 million.

Although the governor had been granted approval from the Joint Committee on Public Ethics to proceed with the book, the approval was contingent upon several factors including not using, “state property, personnel or other resources.” In seemingly direct violation of that guidance, the report documents multiple Executive Chamber employees, from junior to senior staffers, who worked on the book during normal hours and completed assignments related to the book that were, “given by superiors and were expected to be completed like any other task,” confirming reports from the Times Union and the New York Times.

While one state official who was not named in the report stated in an interview with investigators that work on the book was voluntary, that same person sent a text message in August 2020 suggesting the opposite of that. In that contemporaneous message, the person complained about how work on the book was interfering with his ability to address other matters related to the pandemic. The person who received the message, who was also working on the book, did not believe their efforts were voluntary or that they could refuse the assignments.

Senior Executive Chamber staffers went so far as to meet with agents and publishers, draft portions of the text, and attend working sessions to finalize the manuscript — all during normal working hours, the report found. One of the senior staffers, who was central to the book’s production but was not named in the report, exchanged more than 1,000 emails about it from July through December 2020, as the state moved from the first wave of the pandemic to the second.

Top aides also played a central role in promoting the book, controlling the media strategy, and tracking its sales. The former governor was also contractually obligated to be part of the book’s promotion, agreeing to be available for ten days of media appearances, for which his executive chamber staff prepped him, just as the pandemic was about to head into its second wave in October of 2020.

Investigators state unequivocally that the book’s production relied on “significant work” from members of his Executive Chamber staff, “during a time of a global pandemic requiring an around-the-clock response.”

“Overwhelming Evidence That Governor Cuomo Engaged In Sexual Harassment”

The report shot down the former governor’s various lines of defense against allegations of sexual harassment and zeroed in on the accounts of two women, Brittany Commisso, who said Cuomo groped her in the executive mansion late last year, and an unnamed State Trooper assigned to his detail, who said Cuomo made a series of inappropriate comments to her and rubbed his fingers up and down her body on several occassions.

Cuomo and his attorney's had challenged Commisso’s allegations based on the date of the alleged abuse. The Attorney General’s office determined it occurred Nov. 16, 2020, and Cuomo’s attorneys provided a number of examples why it couldn't have occurred then.

Commisso had said she wasn’t sure of the exact date. Assembly investigators confirmed the date was actually Dec. 7, 2020 after cross-checking Commisso’s testimony with public documents, Cuomo’s schedule, the outfit he wore that day, and phone calls made between Commisso and Cuomo’s top aides.

For the state trooper’s account, they compared Cuomo’s own public statements about the allegations with assertions later made by his attorneys. Cuomo had admitted during his resignation speech that he’d been “insensitive” towards the state trooper and the way he acted was “embarrassing to her, and it was disrespectful.” His attorneys later suggested in written arguments that none of the conduct occurred.

“These post hoc arguments are unpersuasive,” the report noted, also citing the testimony of other state troopers who witnessed Cuomo touching the unnamed state trooper and kissing her on the cheek.

“We have reviewed the former Governor’s challenges to the allegations, and nothing in his voluminous submissions can overcome the overwhelming evidence of his misconduct,” the report stated.

“Not Fully Transparent” On How Many Nursing Home Residents Died From COVID

The report said the Cuomo administration withheld the deaths of around 3,500 nursing home residents who died of COVID in hospitals rather than in nursing homes themselves for nearly a year, until an attorney general’s report in January confirmed the undercount.

Investigators first looked at the release of a July 2020 Health Department report that determined Cuomo’s March 25th directive requiring nursing homes to admit COVID positive patients hadn’t increased the death toll. The investigators confirmed reporting in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal that early drafts of that report had included the deaths of 10,000 nursing home residents, a number that was later revised down to just 6,500 deaths. They found Cuomo directed health officials to prepare a report that would deflect criticism of his March order. Cuomo and his senior aides gave input on the report at every step of the process, the assembly’s investigation concluded.

“Throughout the drafting process, the former Governor reviewed and edited the draft DOH Report on multiple occasions, and made edits to strengthen the defense of the March 25 Directive,” the report stated. “DOH officials were concerned that the DOH Report was directed by the Executive Chamber and Task Force, and was not in fact a scientific or medical report.”

After a subsequent legislative hearing on COVID-19 in nursing homes in August of 2020, a senior health department official drafted a letter to the state legislature that included the full death count and sent it to the executive chamber for approval. It never made it to the legislature, according to the report.

The report appears to corroborate testimony from another former top health official who told investigators hired by the state attorney general that public health guidance was often overridden by edicts from the executive chamber, that DOH directives sent to the executive chamber for approval would languish for months awaiting the governor’s signoff, and that high-level health staffers were often asked to lend public health creedence to Cuomo’s policy directives after the fact.