N.Y. trooper sues ex-Gov. Cuomo over sex harassment claims

The anonymous trooper said the governor violated her numerous times while assigned to his private security detail

By Noah Goldberg
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — A New York State Trooper who served on former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s personal security detail sued the disgraced politician Thursday for sexual harassment.

The woman, who filed the suit in Brooklyn Federal Court anonymously as “Trooper 1,” claimed that the governor “violated” her numerous times after she was transferred to the elite Protective Service Unit in January 2018.

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at New York's Yankee Stadium, Monday, July 26, 2021.
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at New York's Yankee Stadium, Monday, July 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

In one instance on Sept. 23, 2019, when she accompanied the former governor to an event at Belmont Racetrack, he “placed the palm of his hand on her belly button and slid it across her waist to her right hip, where her gun was holstered,” the suit says.

“Trooper 1 felt violated as the governor intentionally touched her in intimate locations between her breasts and vagina,” the suit reads.

Five days after that incident, Cuomo spoke to the trooper about relationships, the suit says.

He asked Trooper 1 for her age, and when she responded that she was in her late 20s, the governor said, “You’re too old for me,” according to the lawsuit.

When she asked the governor what requirements he would have for someone he dated, the governor said someone who “can handle pain,” the suit says.

The lawsuit also names a former top aide to Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, as a defendant for her role in allegedly covering up the harassment.

“DeRosa was specifically involved in hiding the Governor’s behavior,” the suit says.

“In general, throughout this period, the Governor sought out Trooper 1 to give her unwanted attention, in a way that made no sense given her professional role as part of his security staff,” the suit reads.

The allegations of harassment against Cuomo by Trooper 1 go all the way to mid-2021.

The trooper spoke with investigators with with Attorney General Letitia James’s office, as part of James’s investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Cuomo. Many of the incidents detailed in the lawsuit were already made public in the report, which detailed claims by nearly a dozen women who made claims against the governor.

When the report was released, Cuomo denied all the claims.

“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” he said. “I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am. And that’s not who I’ve ever been.”

Despite his denials, the former governor resigned in August, shortly after James released her damning report, which concluded Cuomo had harassed numerous women. He’s since said that the investigation was tainted by political bias.

Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, dismissed the claims.

“This claim relies on the AG’s proven fraud of a report, as demonstrated by the five district attorneys who, one by one – Democrat and Republican – looked at its findings and found no violations of law,” Azzopardi said in a statement. “If kissing someone on the cheek, patting someone on the back or stomach or waving hello at a public event on New Year’s Eve is actionable then we are all in trouble.”

“Gov. Cuomo will fight every attempt at cheap cash extortions and is anxious to have the dirty politics stop — we look forward to justice in a court of law,” he added.

©2022 New York Daily News. Visit at nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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