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A major union representing New York State Police officers demanded that Gov. Andrew Cuomo immediately resign Monday, after a state probe found he sexually harassed a female trooper assigned to his protective detail.
“As law enforcement professionals charged with investigating serious crimes in New York State, some of NYSPIA’s members are also responsible for providing protective detail for the Governor,” the New York State Police Investigators Association said in a statement.
“Having to continue to protect the Governor under the current circumstances puts our members in an extremely difficult position,” the union said.
“We request that management of the Governor’s detail be immediately transferred to the Division of State Police. This situation clearly demonstrates that the Governor’s control of all aspects of who serves on his protective detail leads to opportunities for impropriety,” it said.
Last week, a probe by state Attorney General Letitia James concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, including the female trooper assigned to his security detail.
The officer, identified only as “Trooper #1” in the report, told investigators the governor ran his hand or fingers across her stomach and her back, kissed her on the cheek, asked for her help in finding a girlfriend and asked why she didn’t wear a dress.
She also said he ran his open hand over her abdomen as she held a door open for him — an incident that left her feeling “completely violated.”
The NYSPIA initially criticized Cuomo’s actions as “completely unacceptable and utterly disgraceful” but stopped short of joining the chorus of lawmakers and allies calling on him to resign.
Then over the weekend, Rita Glavin, a lawyer for Cuomo, conceded during a CNN interview that the governor “may have very well touched the state trooper’s back” but added “she may have understood it one way and he understood it another way.”
In the NYSPIA’s statement Monday, some of the union’s ire was specifically directed at the governor’s “legal team,” which “has made it clear that it seeks to vilify and attack the brave women who have come forward to expose his reprehensible behavior.
“The legal team is an extension of the bullying and aggressive behavior that has been a hallmark of the Cuomo administration,” the NYSPIA wrote.
“Victims deserve to have their privacy protected from members of the Executive Chamber, their legal team, and media, while the Legislature and legal system consider how to address the allegations in court.”
The NYSPIA represents 1,200 active members, including investigators within the state police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation. It would not confirm whether the trooper accusing Cuomo of wrongdoing is a member of its union.
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