Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo will not be charged for an alleged incident of inappropriate touching that occurred in Elmont, New York, Nassau County's district attorney said Thursday.
The allegation that Cuomo inappropriately touched a state trooper at Long Island's Belmont Racetrack in September 2019 was "credible [and] deeply troubling but not criminal under New York law," according to an investigation conducted by the Nassau County district attorney.
"We thank the brave individuals who came forward and cooperated with our office during the investigation, and gratefully acknowledge our colleagues, Attorney General James and the New York State Assembly, for their diligence and collaboration," Nassau County Acting District Attorney Joyce Smith said.
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Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, said the former governor "did not remember touching the Trooper, but said that it was a common custom for him to acknowledge the presence of a trooper — male or female — holding a door as he walked past them."
"This was only meant to be an acknowledgment of their presence and nothing more," he added in an email to the Washington Examiner.
Azzopardi slammed Attorney General Letitia James's investigation into the former governor, which included an interview with the unidentified state trooper.
"With each passing day it becomes more and more clear that the Attorney General's report was the intersection of gross prosecutorial misconduct and an abuse of government power for political purposes ... It was obviously a political springboard to remove Governor Cuomo so she could run for office, however, it was so poorly done and obviously, it backfired, and James' run for governor lasted only 5 weeks," he said in an email to the Washington Examiner.
The unidentified state trooper, one of 11 women whose claims were vetted as part of James's investigation into Cuomo, alleged in May 19 testimony that the then governor touched her stomach while she held the door for him when they were at Belmont Raceway in 2019.
"I felt uncomfortable. I felt completely violated. But, you know, I'm here to do a job ... I'm a trooper. I've been through high-stress, difficult situations; you know, I wasn't going to let that really, you know — I tried to brush it off and not let it affect me," the trooper told investigators from James's office of her decision not to report the incident at the time.
Cuomo has denied the allegations of inappropriate touching as detailed in James's Aug. 3 report saying he sexually harassed 11 women and seemingly corroborated by the New York state Assembly, which unearthed a 12th accuser in its separate Nov. 22 report. Representatives for the former governor have pointed to James's short-lived gubernatorial bid as evidence the attorney general was politically motivated in contributing to Cuomo's resignation on Aug. 24.
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Cuomo and James, once political allies, have been verbally sparring ever since James released the findings of her investigation. In September, James slammed Cuomo for not taking "responsibility for his own conduct" after he blasted his ouster as "politics."
In October, Cuomo was charged with forcible touching regarding an incident that allegedly occurred at the executive mansion in Albany, which he has said "never" happened. The former governor is expected to appear in court on Jan. 7.