The Albany County District Attorney has dropped his investigation into groping charges against ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo, just days ahead of the the former head of state’s arraignment in court.
Albany DA David Soares released a statement Tuesday saying former aide Brittany Commisso’s allegations against Cuomo were “credible” but that the evidence did not suffice to prove the accusations beyond a reasonable doubt.
“While we found the complainant in this case cooperative and credible, after review of all the available evidence we have concluded that we cannot meet our burden at trial,” Soares said on Jan. 4. “As such we have notified the Court that we are declining to prosecute this matter and requesting the charges filed by the Albany County Sheriff be dismissed.”
Commisso accused Cuomo of putting his hands under her shirt and touching her breast her at the Executive Mansion in Albany on Dec. 7, 2020, one of the most serious allegations from the bombshell report by State Attorney General Letitia James’s office into sexual misconduct allegations against the former governor.
Cuomo denies her allegation.
Soares’s decision — first reported by the Albany Times Union late Monday — comes as Cuomo was scheduled to appear in court on Friday afternoon, and the upstate DA added that he was “deeply troubled” by the allegations.
“I, like most New Yorkers, remain deeply troubled by allegations like the ones at issue here. Such conduct has no place in government or in any workplace,” he said.
Prosecutors told on Monday told Commisso they weren’t moving forward because of the way the misdemeanor complaint had been filed in local court by Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple in late October, according to the Times Union’s report.
A Soares spokesperson did not immediately confirm that report.
Apple filed the complaint on Oct. 28 without the DA or Commisso’s legal team knowing about it.
The outgoing Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance ended his office’s probe into the Cuomo administration’s oversight of nursing homes during the pandemic on Thursday, just days before incoming DA Alvin Bragg took over the office, according to the New York Post, with a lawyer for the onetime governor telling the paper the prosecutor’s office didn’t find evidence that the Executive Chamber broke the law.
Both the Westchester County and Nassau County district attorneys also declined to file charges in recent weeks against Cuomo over their look into allegations he gave unwanted kisses to two women, including a state trooper.
The pair of prosecutors released similar statements saying these accusations were credible but not criminal under New York law.