Background and Executive Summary
Trooper#1 started to work for the State Police March 2, 2015. She transferred to the Protective Services Unit (PSU) which is in charge of protecting the Governor on January 25, 2018. This was after working with one of his PSU Senior Investigators at an event held on November 4, 2017, during which she also met Cuomo briefly.
Contrary to what the Times Union and the investigators insinuate, Cuomo did not handpick her. He also did not arrange for special accommodations to hire her. As emails by the State Police document, her promotion was based on performance. Additionally, there was a need to increase diversity (female ratio) in the PSU as well as a vacant position. Her promotion happened at the same time as one for another trooper with exactly the same amount of experience.
The report concludes Cuomo sexually harassed the Trooper based on the following claims: • In an elevator, Cuomo ran his finger down the Troopers back and said “hey you”. • He touched her stomach and ran his hand across it while she was holding a door open for him. • When she told him she was getting married, he asked her why, because “it always ends in divorce, and you lose money, and your sex drive goes down”. • On one occasion, he discussed age differences in relationships, joked that she would be too old for him, and asked her what age difference would be acceptable for him and a girlfriend. • When she asked what criteria he was looking for in a girlfriend, he said he was looking for someone who “can handle pain”. • When she told him that she would be going to Albany for a wedding, he offered her a tour of the Governor’s mansion, “unless it [was] against protocols.” • He asked her why she did not wear a dress and why she only wore dark colors. • On one occasion he told her that her suit made her look like an “Amish person”. In addition, she complained that he kissed on the cheek WITH her consent.
Witnesses do not corroborate her claims. They would not constitute sexual harassment if true. All of her claims were investigated and dismissed by the responsible District Attorneys.
Here is an example of Trooper#1’s unreasonable sexual harassment claims:
Trooper 1 mentioned to the Governor that she would be attending her sister’s wedding in Albany. In response, the Governor offered togive her a tour of the official Governor’s Mansion (the “Mansion”) in Albany and added, with a snicker, “unless it is against protocols.” Trooper 1 understood the Governor’s reference to protocols and his accompanying laugh to mean that the Governor wanted to show her his private quarters at the Mansion. The comment made her feel uncomfortable.
Here is another claim, not supported by any witness statement. Describing a public, random – likely accidental – touch in passing by as “intimidate contact” and the belly as “intimate locations between breast and vagina” is frivolous at best.
Claim: The Governor requested that Trooper 1 be assigned to the PSU. He arranged for the service requirements to be changed so that Trooper 1 could be close to him. This is FALSE.
Trooper#1 claims that the Governor requested her specifically after only a brief interaction at an event with her. But it was the Trooper’s supervisor, Senior Investigator#1, who was impressed with her performance and suggested to the Governor to transfer her to the PSU.
Also, internal State Police emails state clearly that she was promoted based on performance, at the same time as another trooper with the same amount of experience.
There was no reason to change the policy from three years to two years for her. The Trooper was hired on March 2, 2015, and transferred on January 25, 2018. She was only missing 5 weeks from fulfilling the 3-year requirement. It is common practice to waive such negligible time requirements to fill vacant positions. If there was anything unusual or dubious about the transfer, they would have simply waited 5 weeks to avoid suspicion and questions.
Last but not least, the PSU Detail Commander’s testimony confirms all of this:
We had two troopers that missed the cutoff by a month or two, and […] despite the shortfall, we still considered them for the detail […] After the event I get a call from [Senior Investigator #1], who said that [Trooper #1] was squared away, super squared away, you had to see how she handled the interaction with the Governor. Most people are very timid, she wasn’t timid, she was very direct. [Senior Investigator #1] asked her if she was interested in coming to the detail […] It was directed towards me from Senior Investigator #1 that Trooper #1 could be a very good candidate for PSU. And plus at the time the unit was hurting for females, the unit was hurting for members, just plain members. We weren’t getting the volume of people coming into the detail […] She had to apply, she had to go through the process, […] submit her abstract and go through the interview process […] … Senior Investigator #1 did some background, she also comes very highly recommended, and Senior Investigator #1 feels that she would be a good fit for PSU.
Details of Allegations and Interactions
Touched her back and said “Hey, you”
Trooper#1 claims that in the elevator of his NYC office he stood behind her and ran his finger from the top of her neck down to the middle of her back and said “Hey, you”.
Senior Investigator#1, who was also in the elevator, does not corroborate her story. The Manhattan DA Office reviewed the case and dismissed it as per CNN report from January 8, 2022. (Article).
Kissed her on the Cheek WITH her explicit consent
In Summer 2019, outside his Mt. Kisco home, she approached him in the driveway asking if he needed anything. Cuomo allegedly asked, “Can I kiss you?”. She responded “sure” because she was unsure what to do, so he kissed her on the cheek. She also claims to freeze because of a simple question, which – if true- renders her completely unfit for her job.
Westchester District Attorney Miriam Rocah dismissed the case on December 27, 2021 (Article).
Touched her stomach in passing
On September 23, 2019, at an event in Belmont, she held the door open for Cuomo as he left and claims that as he walked by, he ran his hand across her stomach opposite to the direction he was walking, from her belly button towards her hip where she kept her gun. According to the Trooper, this was also seen by a Senior Investigator, but there is no statement from this alleged witness.
Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith dismissed the claim on December 23, 2021 (Article).
Offered her to give her a tour of the Executive Mansion
September 2018, Trooper#1 spoke to Cuomo outside his Mount Kisco residence. She told him that she was going to Albany to her sister’s wedding. In response, he offered to give her a tour of the Executive Mansion. Allegedly he added, “unless it [was] against protocols”. She perceived this comment as suggestive and it made her uncomfortable.
Commented on her Attire
On August 13, 2019, the Trooper was driving Cuomo to an event. He asked her why she didn’t wear a dress and why she wore dark colors. She claims that (her also present) Detail Commander said that PSU members must wear business attire. After she left the car, the Detail Commander sent her a PIN saying “stays in the truck”. She interpreted this as an instruction to not talk about this conversation.
The Detail Commander does NOT corroborate Trooper#1’s statement. He does not recall Cuomo asking her about her attire. He also does not recall sending the alleged message to her. AG report, p. 36, fn#257 (Screenshot). This important information is hidden in a footnote.
She claims that when she was wearing a suit, Cuomo said she looked like an “Amish person”. He also joked that her suit jacket was too big. “Reflecting on the interaction” she claims “that it could have been interpreted” as a suggestion to wear tighter clothes.
Comments on marriage and relationships
On another occasion, Cuomo asked her why she wanted to get married. He allegedly said that “it always ends in divorce, you lose money, and your sex drive goes down”. Another time he asked her about her age (late 20s), said “you’re too old for me” and asked her what she thought would be an acceptable age difference between him and a woman. In order to deflect, she asked him about his requirements for a partner. He allegedly said he was looking for someone who “can handle pain”.
Cuomo testified he doesn’t recall any of these conversations except talking with her about the fact that she was getting married (minus the comments she alleges).
Released testimonies confirm what is common knowledge: Governor Cuomo’s questions about people’s personal lives, comments about clothing, and kissing people on the cheek are neither unusual nor gender-based. There are plenty of witness testimonies about him commenting on men’s shoes or ties, for example. He asked personal questions of all PSU members, kissed men and women, and did not treat them differently based on gender:
Other Witness Testimonies
Major Vincent Straface’s testimony contradicts the Trooper’s claims in many aspects, such as her self-depiction as weak and insecure:
She wasn’t timid, she was very direct […] she is a very confident, confident individual, competent and confident.
When asked about his alleged message “stays in truck” – aside from not supporting her claim – describes her as not trustworthy:
That’s just a general policy, what happens in the truck stays in the truck […] The Governor has personal conversations, there is interactions […] this has been the philosophy since I got onto the detail […] You don’t want your driver and your other people talking about personal conversations […] There is only one instance […] there was a decision made for the Governor’s movement that the Governor did not agree with and got very mad […] Melissa DeRosa [… ] went pretty crazy on the phone towards me […] And that day Trooper #1 was driving, and the next day I hear it from a couple of other people […] And that wasn’t something that necessarily should have been being discussed […] So I told her supervisor to have a conversation with her to understand that what happens in the truck […] should stay in the truck […] If she’s going to drive and she hears these kinds of conversations in the car, just to keep them to herself, not to make it the detail gossip that […] the boss just got yelled at.
Black Mail Attempt
As Melissa DeRose disclosed, the Trooper attempted to blackmail.