Politics

DOJ probing Andrew Cuomo sexual harassment claims, contract reveals

Key Points
  • The U.S. Justice Department is probing claims of sexual harassment by former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a newly disclosed document reveals.
  • Cuomo already was known to be facing criminal investigations by various New York state district attorneys for conduct toward women.
  • The federal investigation by the DOJ was disclosed in a legal services contract the office of current Gov. Kathy Hochul signed with the law firm Wilkie Farr & Gallagher.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference, on May 10, 2021 in New York.
Mary Altaffer | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Justice is probing claims of sexual harassment by former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a newly disclosed document reveals.

Cuomo, who has denied wrongdoing, already was known to be facing criminal investigations by various New York state district attorneys for his conduct toward women.

The three-term incumbent Democrat resigned in August after a damning investigation commissioned by state Attorney General Letitia James concluded Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women, a number of whom worked for his administration.

At a press conference a week before Cuomo quit, James said he had "violated federal and state law" by his actions against the women.

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The federal investigation of Cuomo by the DOJ was disclosed in a legal services contract that the office of current Gov. Kathy Hochul signed with the law firm Wilkie Farr & Gallagher.

The contract was posted Thursday on the state Comptroller's website shortly after The New York Post first reported its contents after obtaining it through a Freedom of Information Law request.

The same contract noted that the DOJ and other law enforcement entities had made requests for information about Cuomo's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in his handling of cases involving nursing home patients.

Authorities also have asked for information about a lucrative deal Cuomo cut to write a book about his handling of the state's pandemic response, the document says.

"The DOJ also has undertaken an inquiry related to sexual harassment claims made against the then Governor," the contract says.

Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, when asked about the DOJ's inquiry, said, "Our understanding is that the Civil Division [of the DOJ] opened an inquiry in August based upon the AG's [attorney general's] politically motivated sham report and we have heard nothing since."  

James is seeking next year's Democratic nomination for governor, as is Hochul.