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Hochul denies retaliation allegations in Cuomo suit

Governor Kathy Hochul has firmly denied allegations of retaliation against Brittany Commisso, a former executive assistant who accused ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual assault.

Commisso, who is suing Cuomo under the recently enacted Adult Survivors Act, also named Hochul in the lawsuit. The complaint alleges that Hochul assigned Commisso to a “demeaning” task of answering phones after she reported Cuomo’s unwanted advances.

During an event in Lower Manhattan, Hochul addressed the allegations, stating that as Lieutenant Governor, she had no control over staff assignments within the Governor’s chamber. This denial comes in the context of Commisso’s claim that she faced retaliation for reporting Cuomo, including being demoted from her position as executive assistant and reassigned within the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Cuomo has consistently denied these accusations.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The lawsuit also names the State of New York and Judith Mogul, former special counsel under Cuomo, as defendants. Commisso is one of the 11 women cited in a report by state Attorney General Letitia James, which concluded that Cuomo violated multiple laws. A previous criminal complaint by Commisso against Cuomo was dropped in January 2022, with Albany County District Attorney David Soares citing an inability to meet the burden of proof at trial. Meanwhile, Governor Hochul reiterated her support for the Adult Survivors Act, emphasizing its role in empowering women to speak out against sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. Hochul also stated that she has had no contact with Commisso or her attorney.