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ALBANY – The woman who filed a criminal complaint against embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is speaking out publicly for the very first time.
Until now, Brittany Commisso has only been known as “executive assistant number one.”
CBS News and Albany Times Union spoke with Commisso, one of the governor’s current staffers who is coming forward to defend her account without blurring to protect her image.
Commisso told Jericka Duncan, “the governor needs to be held accountable.” She continues, “What he did to me was a crime. He broke the law.”
Rita Glavin, Governor Cuomo’s attorney, insists Commisso’s claims are untrue.
In a Saturday interview with CNN, Glavin did admit the governor may have touched another accuser, a state trooper on the governor’s protective detail.
The Attorney General’s report alleges he ran his fingers down her back while standing behind her in an elevator.
Glavin addressed the governor’s response to this claim.
“One thing I will say about this particular trooper is that I do know that the governor has tremendous respect for her, believes she’s been an excellent member of her detail,” explains Glavin. “And to the extent that she believes and felt he did anything that violated her or was inappropriate, he feels very, very badly about that. That I do know. And I know he’s going to address this.”
Exactly when that will be, remains unclear.
The governor has, however, apologized to a handful of women who he recognized were made to feel uncomfortable because of behavior, he insists, was well-intentioned.
Rita Glavin told Pamela Brown, “He does slip at times. He’s not perfect. But yeah.”
She explains, “He said it in his video statement, which is that, you know, he does make the mistake, he will say ‘darling,’ he will say ‘sweetheart.’” Glavin states. “He does ask people questions about their personal lives. He didn’t think that that was improper.”
This latest chapter adds to the growing outcry calling for the governor’s impeachment, or resignation.
On Monday, legislators on the state’s judiciary committee returned to Albany where they are expected to meet with independent investigators to review evidence related to the governor’s impeachment probe.
With Governor Cuomo’s sexual harassment investigation by lawmakers “nearing completion,” he has until this Friday to offer evidence in his defense.
An opportunity, Cuomo’s personal lawyer insists, was not provided by the New York State Attorney General before the release of a scathing report in which several women accuse the governor of “unwelcome and non consensual touching,” as well as making comments of a “suggestive” sexual nature.
Adding to the governor’s troubles, the possibility of criminal charges.
The Albany County Sheriff’s Department confirmed it’s investigating a complaint of behavior from Governor Cuomo that was “sexual in nature.”
Sheriff Craig Apple described the bravery the victim showed in speaking out against the governor.
“I had a female victim come forward. Which had to be the hardest things she’s done in her life,” says Apple. “And make an allegation of criminal conduct against the governor.”
The New York State Assembly has given the governor until August 13th to respond to the Attorney General’s report.
It is likely that any formal articles of impeachment would have to come after that date.
A majority of New York State Assembly members, a total of 80 democrats and republicans, have said they would vote to impeach at this point.
Only 76 votes are needed for impeachment to move forward in the state assembly.
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