Albany, NY – The female New York State Police investigator whom New York Governor Andrew Cuomo requested for his protective detail shot up through the ranks to become his driver even though she didn’t have the qualifications.
Women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred issued a statement that said she was representing the state trooper that Cuomo sexually harassed and said she though the governor “did the right thing” when he announced his resignation on Tuesday, the Times Union reported.
“It definitely was the right thing for him to do politically. This is the legal reckoning and it’s also a political reckoning,” Allred said. “The governor is an attorney as I am. The governor knows what the laws are regarding sexual harassment.”
“It appears that he did not obey the law in many situations and in many cases. So now, he has to face the consequences of his actions,” she added.
It was unclear whether Allred had been retained by the trooper in order to file a lawsuit against Cuomo, the Times Union reported.
The fact that one of Cuomo’s victims had been a 27-year-old female state trooper was revealed on Aug. 3 when New York Attorney General Letitia James released a bombshell report that detailed how the governor had sexually harassed at least 11 women while he was leading the state.
The trooper, who is from Long Island, was promoted onto the governor’s personal protection detail in 2017 after Cuomo met her at an event “because he liked the way she looked,” the Times Union reported.
However, the trooper only had three years on the state police at that point and did meet the minimum requirements for the governor’s security detail.
The New York State Police senior investigator that Cuomo tasked with offering the trooper a job told the governor that the female trooper wasn’t qualified, the Times Union reported.
The senior investigator “subsequently received a call from a high-level staff member within the Executive Chamber who instructed him to ‘hire the female trooper from the bridge’ and stated, with respect to the policy, ‘we are making adjustments for her.'”
The attorney general’s report said the aide to Cuomo told the senior investigator that the rules would be changed so that she would qualify for the assignment, the Times Union reported.
But that was only the beginning, according to former senior members of the details.
Those sources told the Times Union that after only 15 months on Cuomo’s protective detail, where the state investigator was working a fixed post at the governor’s Westchester County residence, the female trooper was transferred to the travel team and became the governor’s driver.
“Unless you had prior experience, such as military background, or are a seasoned [Bureau of Criminal Justice investigator] transfer, driving the governor just doesn’t happen,” a former senior member of Cuomo’s security detail said.
It was after Cuomo made the trooper his driver that he began to sexually harass her, the Times Union reported.
The report said the trooper alleged the governor had run his hand along her stomach as she held doors for him in the course of her duties, CNBC reported.
The trooper said Cuomo also ran his finger down her neck and back while she stood in front of him in an elevator, kissed her on the cheek in front of another trooper, and made suggestive remarks to her, according to the report.
She also said the governor asked her why she didn’t wear a dress and asked why the trooper would get married when marriage means “your sex drive goes down,” CNBC reported.
The trooper told investigators that after one such conversation with the governor, the commander of the detail messaged her that what Cuomo had said “stays in the truck,” which she took to mean she couldn’t repeat it, the Times Union reported.
The 27-year-old trooper told state investigators that Cuomo was both “creepy” and “flirtatious” with her.
The report said Cuomo had asked the trooper to help him find a girlfriend and said he wanted to date a woman who “[c]an handle pain,” CNBC reported.
Other troopers corroborated the female trooper’s stories about the offensive treatment she received at the hands of the governor, and agreed he treated her differently than he treated the male troopers.
Cuomo denied the allegations and told the attorney general’s investigators that he had hired the woman and another female trooper because he “was on constant alert to recruit more women, blacks and Asians to the state police detail,” the Times Union reported.
The governor told investigators he’d met two female troopers at the bridge ceremony and “encouraged the state police to talk to both women about joining the [Protective Services Unit] to increase diversity.”
However, the report said the senior investigator tasked with acquiring the trooper who would become the governor’s driver said Cuomo had not asked him to recruit the other female trooper, the Times Union reported.
The New York State Police and top governor’s aides claimed in December of 2020 that Cuomo had no role in who was assigned to his security detail and denied the rules had been changed to accommodate the unqualified state investigator.
But then Cuomo’s attorney, Rita Glavin, said on Friday that the governor had chosen the young female trooper because he “liked how she made eye contact… how she was assertive in the conversation,” the Times Union reported.
The union that represents state investigators issued a statement before Cuomo resigned that demanded control of protective detail assignments be returned to the law enforcement agency in the wake of the attorney general’s report.
“We request that management of the governor’s detail be immediately transferred to the Division of State Police,” the statement read. “This situation clearly demonstrates that the governor’s control of all aspects of who serves on his protective detail leads to opportunities for impropriety.”
Cuomo has previously said that governors should have no role in making hiring or promotion decision for the New York State Police, the Times Union reported.