ALBANY, N.Y. — Attorney General Letitia James’ office released the final batch of transcripts and videotaped interviews related to her office’s sexual harassment investigation into former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Documents made public on Thursday include testimony from Cuomo detractors and defenders, offer new insight into the administration’s initial reaction to the harassment claims, and provide more details about the reportedly toxic environment within the executive chamber.
Among the new transcripts released are interviews with longtime pollster Jeffrey Pollock and former advisers Richard Bamberger, Josh Vlasto and Larry Schwartz that show the all-hands-on-deck approach the administration took in response to the allegations against Cuomo.
The latest release also included video of Cuomo’s brother, since-fired CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, speaking with investigators. The former “Cuomo Prime Time” host admitted advising his big brother on the situation and telling him not to “go after your accusers.”
“It’s not right. It’s not allowed. The only path is process. That’s the only path. Have things investigated. Have somebody independent who looks at this, and let people judge what they find,” he said.
Also released was the full transcript of testimony from former Empire State Development chief Howard Zemsky, who confirmed to investigators that Cuomo once suggested a game of strip poker to former aide Lindsay Boylan.
“He said something like, ‘Hey, want to play strip poker?’” Zemsky said, explaining that he signed off on a statement denying the encounter because he initially had no recollection of it, and there was “some feeling” of pressure from Cuomo’s top aides.
Zemsky claims a message from Boylan threatening to “destroy your life, you s--t follower” apparently jogged his memory.
After receiving the message, he said he “started to recall, you know, a very different type of exchange from the one that I had been thinking about.”
Rita Glavin, Cuomo’s attorney, alleged during a press conference last week that Boylan was engaged in a “more than professional” relationship with Zemsky at some point and insinuated their past together influenced his evolving story.
Boylan was the first of nearly a dozen women to come forward with misconduct claims against Cuomo.
The ex-governor, who resigned in disgrace last August, maintains that he never harassed anyone and has argued that James was part of a plot to take him down.
Glavin, who has been paid more than $900,000 from Cuomo’s still active campaign account, has repeatedly slammed James as well as the independent investigators who ran the probe and vowed to keep fighting.
“Justice has not been done,” she said. “The governor is not going to let this go because he can’t, any more than someone who’s been wrongly accused.”
Earlier this month, an Albany judge dismissed a misdemeanor forcible-touching charge against Cuomo after a former aide alleged he groped her at the Executive Mansion in late 2020.
It was the only criminal charge brought against the ex-governor after the AG report detailed allegations made by 11 women. Prosecutors in several counties have declined to move forward with criminal cases despite finding Cuomo’s accusers credible.
Among the testimony released Thursday was more than one account defending Cuomo, including John Maggiore, a longtime adviser and commissioner at the state Public Service Commission.
Maggiore said he was taken aback by the allegations against Cuomo, which included making sexually charged comments to underlings and touching a female state trooper inappropriately.
“They’re very, very out of character,” he told investigators. “They don’t seem to be describing the guy that I know.”