ALBANY — District Attorney David Soares will not prosecute former Gov. Andrew Cuomo for allegations he groped a staffer in the Executive Mansion.
“While many have an opinion regarding the allegations against the former governor, the Albany County DA’s Office is the only one who has a burden to prove the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt,” Soares said in a statement. “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 he notified Albany City Court about his decision and is asking all charged filed by Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple be dismissed.
Britany Commisso went on national television to tell the world the governor had reached his hands up her blouse and grabbed her breast while they were alone in the mansion in 2020.
She is one of 11 women who accused the governor of inappropriate behavior. Their allegations were included in a report by Attorney General Letitia James which, in part, forced Cuomo to resign.
“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,” Soares said in a statement. “Although avenues for criminal prosecution in these cases are sometimes limited, I encourage victims of workplace harassment and abuse to continue to come forward and bring these issues to light so that these important discussions can continue.”
The Times Union in Albany were the first to report Soares was dropping the charges.
Commisso’s attorney, Brian Premo, told the newspaper his client had no control or say in the DA’s decision.
“She had no authority or voice in those decisions,” Premo told the Times Union. “The only thing she has any power over is her resolution to continue to speak the truth and seek justice in an appropriate civil action, which she will do in due course.”
Cuomo was set to make his first appearance in Albany City Court on Jan. 6.
Two other district attorneys, in Westchester and Nassau counties, have also dropped criminal charges against Cuomo.