Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo will not face any criminal charges stemming from an allegation he inappropriately touched a National Grid employee during a trip to Oswego County in May 2017.
Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes on Monday confirmed no charges will be filed against Cuomo, who resigned last August following a report detailing allegations of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment by 11 women leveled against him.
The development was first reported by The New York Post on Monday morning.
Oakes' office had been investigating the allegations by Virginia Limmiatis, a 55-year-old National Grid worker, who had acccused Cuomo of touching her chest during an event in the area.
"After a thorough review of the available evidence and applicable law, the Oswego County District Attorney’s Office has concluded that there is not a sufficient legal basis to bring criminal charges against former-Governor Andrew Cuomo based upon the allegations of unwanted physical contact made by Virginia Limmiatis," Oakes said in a statement. "To be clear, this decision is based solely upon an assessment of the law and whether the People can establish a legally sufficient case under controlling precedent."
Oakes in his statement also praised Limmiatis for coming forward with the initial allegation.
"After watching her prior testimony and talking with her, I found her to be reliable and reasonable, seemingly motivated only by an earnest desire to do the right thing, and she was plainly upset by her interaction with then Governor Cuomo as she expressed immediately to friends and family," he said. "Knowing that the then-Governor would use his bully-pulpit to deny the allegations and perhaps attempt to discredit her, she nevertheless stepped forward to tell her truth during the Attorney General’s investigation. She has further made herself available to my office. I commend her bravery and respect her courage."
Oakes is the latest county prosecutor to not pursue criminal charges against the former governor. The Manhattan district attorney's office dropped its investigation of Cuomo, while Albany County District Attorney David Soares backed the dimissal of a forcible touching charge against Cuomo.
“Not every violation of law results in a criminal prosecution," Marianne Wang, an attorney representing Limmiatis. "This decision does not mean Cuomo acted appropriately or lawfully towards Ms. Limmiatis or any of the other women who came forward, or that he didn’t cause them significant harm.”
Cuomo and his legal team have maintained he never acted inappropriately.
In a statement, Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi included photos of Cuomo interacting with Limmiatis at the event showing the former governor's hand not touching her chest.
"The photographic evidence that the AG’s report hid from the public indisputably showed that Governor Cuomo did not act improperly," said Rita Glavin, Cuomo's attorney. "Truth and the rule of law prevailed, not politics or mob mentality."