The dismissal was expected after Soares announced this week that the claim against Cuomo was “credible” but could not be proven in court. It was the latest legal win for Cuomo since he resigned in August over a broader scandal involving his treatment of nearly a dozen women while in office.
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A criminal case accusing previous New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of groping a lady in the executive mansion more than a year prior was excused by a judge at the request of a local district attorney. Judge Holly Trexler in Albany on Friday allowed a joint movement by Cuomo and Albany District Attorney David Soares to excuse the case, following a concise hearing held for all intents and purposes and went to by Cuomo, a Democrat. District attorneys in two different areas additionally ended their investigations of Cuomo without bringing charges.
“Today, reason and the rule of law prevailed — not politics, rhetoric or mob mentality,” Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, said in a statement.
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Several local investigations were triggered after New York Attorney General Letitia James, also a Democrat, issued a damning report in August on Cuomo’s conduct with women, including detailed accounts of 11 incidents of sexual harassment that she said violated state and federal civil law. James did not weigh in on whether crimes had been committed and left it to local district attorneys to make that determination.
Even so, law enforcement officials thanked his accusers for coming forward and affirmed that the former governor had credibly touched the women, including a state trooper on his security detail.
Cuomo has called for a new investigation into the allegations, claiming James’s probe wasn’t truly independent even though it was carried out by an outside law firm to address his concerns.
The development in Albany is further evidence that James, who briefly ran for governor after Cuomo stepped down, was biased against her fellow Democrat, Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said in a statement Friday.
“The legislature insisted that Tish James be given the authority to do the review even though she had a glaring conflict of interest in that she would not rule out running against Governor Cuomo,” Azzopardi said. “Any lawyer who understood their ethical obligation would never have recommended such a referral and certainly would not have accepted it.”
The attorney general was only permitted to conduct the investigation after receiving a referral from Cuomo to do so, and many of the allegations had begun leaking out before James got involved. Her 165-page report — backed by thousands of pages of evidence, including interview transcripts — affirmed claims that Cuomo groped the women, made comments about their appearances and sex lives, and told them he was “lonely” and “wanted to be touched.” It also affirmed claims that he grabbed women’s breasts and buttocks. James’s office didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.