August 30, 2018 Press Release

Cynthia: The Governor Owes New Yorkers an Explanation on the Cy Vance Investigation

New York, NY – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon released the following statement on revelations that Governor Cuomo suspended the investigation into Manhattan DA Cy Vance for his decision not to charge Harvey Weinstein in 2015 for sexual misconduct.  Cynthia specifically called on Cuomo to explain why he tried to hide from New Yorkers and #MeToo victims that he suspended the investigation.

“The Governor owes New Yorkers a real explanation. Andrew Cuomo was pressuredby the brave women of the #MeToo movement into investigating Cy Vance’s gross mishandling of the prosecution of Harvey Weinstein. Then Cuomo made a big public show of ordering the investigation, before quietly suspending it. When he was confronted by reporters about the suspension, he first declined to comment – and only later offered an excuse. At the very minimum, the Governor still needs to explain to New York’s women why he wasn’t upfront about the suspension in the first place.”

“Governor Cuomo has a shameful record when it comes to not holding powerful men accountable for sexual harassment. He has repeatedly ignored reports of sexual harassment among senior state officials and in some cases continued to promote them until confronted by members of the press. When the Governor rewrote legislation on sexual harassment earlier this year, he also excluded any female legislators from the room – but included a male legislator accused of sexual harassment.”

Cuomo’s Record on Sexual Harassment

Cuomo Drafted Sexual Harassment Legislation without a Single Woman in the Room. According to the Wall Street Journal, “As Gov. Andrew Cuomo and three male lawmakers meet privately to hash out a state sexual-harassment policy as part of the annual budget, they are facing calls to include the state’s only female caucus leader in the talks. Mr. Cuomo vowed in February to include Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat, in the otherwise all-male group amid calls for her inclusion from women’s rights groups. But with just a few days left before the budget deadline, Ms. Stewart-Cousins said Mr. Cuomo hasn’t followed through.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/28/2018]

New York Indivisible Criticized Cuomo For His Handling Of Harassment Claims Against Sen. Jeff Klein, Who Was Allowed In the Room to Draft Sexaul Harrassment Legislation. According to the New York Times, “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has worked closely with the Independent Democratic Conference, and has been accused of facilitating the group’s partnership with Mr. Flanagan, has twice called for an investigation, but has offered no details on who would handle it. That has not satisfied some activists and protesters who feel that the governor should be more outspoken, particularly considering the national reckoning over sexual harassment in the workplace — something Mr. Cuomo has promised will be a major part of his 2018 agenda. ‘He has said the bare minimum to slip away from any responsibility,’ said Heather Stewart, of the group Empire State Indivisible, calling Mr. Cuomo a ‘poor champion for justice.’” [New York Times, 12/13/17]

Cuomo Forced to Apologize to Female Reporter after She Challenged his Record on Sexual Harassment. Cuomo recently made headlines for trying to “teach” a woman reporter, Karen Dewitt, about sexual harassment. In a cringe-inducing video, Cuomo refuses to answer Dewitt’s questions about the Hoyt case, telling her that sexual harassment “is about you” and that her question did “a disservice to women.” He was ultimately forced to apologize. [Splinter, 12/13/17]

Cuomo Was Notified In Writing About Unfair Treatment To Female State Staff And “Did Not Take Steps To Intervene.” According to the Times Union, “Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott were both notified in writing about the treatment of the female DCJS employees in late January — three weeks after the governor declared in his annual State of the State address that the nation ‘is taking a long look in the mirror as to how we treat women, and we are disgusted with what we see. And we should be.’ But the governor’s office did not take steps to intervene in the plight of the DCJS employees. The inaction occurred despite the findings of the inspector general’s investigation — which have not been made public — that sustained the harassment allegations and recommended DCJS ‘take action as you deem appropriate’ against three top officials at the agency, including a human resources director and a first deputy commissioner.” [Times Union, 3/19/18]