Cuomo aide comes forward as ‘Executive Assistant 1’ in AG’s sexual harassment report

FILE PHOTO: New York Governor Cuomo holds a news conference, in New York
FILE PHOTO: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference, in New York, U.S., May 10, 2021. Mary Altaffer/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

The “executive assistant” to Governor Andrew Cuomo who filed a criminal complaint against the state’s chief executive on Friday for allegedly groping her will tell her story on camera in a nationally televised interview Monday morning.

Brittany Commisso will appear on CBS This Morning on Aug. 9 in a interview billed as an exclusive with the network and the Albany Times Union newspaper. She’ll speak about her encounter with the governor and why she chose to step forward and make a complaint.

“It was the right thing to do. The governor needs to be held accountable,” Commisso said during a clip of the interview aired on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday. “What he did to me was a crime. He broke the law.”

Commisso was identified as “Executive Assistant 1” in the report that state Attorney General Letitia James released on Aug. 3 regarding the independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations made against Cuomo.

According to the report, “the governor engaged in a pattern of inappropriate conduct” with Commisso from late 2019 to November 2020. The conducted included “close and intimate hugs, kisses on the cheeks, forehead and at least one kiss on the lips, touching and grabbing” of her butt “during hugs and, on one occasion, while taking selfies with him.” 

Cuomo allegedly made comments and jokes about Commisso’s personal life and relationships, and had asked multiple times if she had ever cheated on her husband, or would ever consider it. 

Things escalated further in November 2020, according to the AG’s report, when Cuomo allegedly groped Commisso during an encounter at the Governor’s Mansion in Albany. The governor’s accused of engaging in a close hug with Commisso, during which he reached under her blouse and grabbed her breast.

The report indicated that Commisso kept silent about the incident for three months and had “planned to take it ‘to the grave,” but she came confided with colleagues about the incident after Cuomo said that he never “touched anyone inappropriately” during a March 3, 2021 press conference. Her colleagues then reported the allegations to senior staff, according to the AG’s report.

Cuomo has denied that the incident took place. During a press call on Aug. 6, Cuomo attorney Rita Galvin spoke of alleged inconsistencies in the account’s timeline, and that the incident could not be independently corroborated by others in the building at the time it occurred.

Earlier on Aug. 6, Commisso had filed a formal criminal complaint against Cuomo with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office for possible consideration of misdemeanor charges.

Eleven women, in all, came forward to claim that Cuomo allegedly sexually harassed them, as noted in the AG’s report, which also indicated that the governor may have committed acts which violated state and federal law.

James’ office did not file any criminal charges against the governor, but four district attorneys across the state have requested materials related to the investigation to conduct their own inquiries.

The report was also presented to the state Assembly, which is now considering drafting articles of impeachment against Cuomo. Scores of lawmakers across the state and from both sides of the aisle have demanded that Cuomo resign, but the governor has rebuffed those calls.

The Commisso interview is scheduled to air on CBS at 7 a.m., about 2 1/2 hours before Assembly members are scheduled to meet regarding possible impeachment proceedings.