According to the New York Post, disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is going to receive a taxpayer-funded legal defense for a sexual harassment lawsuit that he is facing.
This has to do with the sexual harassment lawsuit brought by an unidentified New York State trooper.
In February 2022, the unidentified state trooper – known only as “Trooper 1” – filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Cuomo and Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s former aid.
The New York Post reported, separately:
On September 23, 2019, Trooper 1, who was serving as one of Cuomo’s bodyguards at the time, accompanied him to an event at Belmont racetrack, where “she felt violated as the Governor intentionally touched her in intimate locations between her breasts and vagina,” according to the complaint.
This wasn’t the only incident, though. According to the trooper, Cuomo, a few days later, asked the trooper about her relationship status, and he tried to kiss her. And, the complaint goes on to describe even more incidents of this nature.
As for DeRosa’s involvement, the trooper alleges that DeRosa helped Cuomo to cover the situation up.
Cuomo has adamantly denied all wrongdoing.
Cuomo has been trying to argue that, in this lawsuit, he is entitled to a state-funded – and thus taxpayer-funded – defense because the accusations that he is facing stem from his time as New York governor.
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), however, has disagreed. The reader may remember that James (D), in August of 2021, released a report that substantiated 11 sexual harassment claims brought by several women against Cuomo.
On Aug. 10, 2022, about a year after Cuomo resigned from the New York governorship, James refused to cover Cuomo’s legal expenses with state funds.
After James refused to give Cuomo the state-funded defense that he asked for, Cuomo brought a lawsuit against James’s office. And, now, it appears that Cuomo is going to get that taxpayer-funded defense after all.
On Friday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Shlomo Hagler granted Cuomo’s petition, after about two hours of deliberation.
Hagler, during the proceedings, said:
[Cuomo’s] view is that everything he did was within the scope of his employment and he was just acting as the governor … when addressing trooper 1 in a friendly manner. Did he go over the line? That is not clear cut. The allegations are quite disturbing. They should not be tolerated in the workplace, if true.
Now, because of Hagler’s decision, the New York taxpayer will be forced to foot the former governor’s legal bill.