The Albany Police Department has been formally notified about the allegation that Gov. Andrew Cuomo groped a female staffer in an incident that may amount to a crime, a source familiar with the matter said Thursday.
Cops haven’t launched an official probe but have “reached out to the victim’s attorney and offered up any other police assistance,” a police spokesman said.
“At this time, there has been no formal criminal complaint and there is no active criminal investigation,” spokesman Steve Smith said.
Cuomo’s acting counsel, Beth Garvey, acknowledged in a statement that state officials had referred the matter for possible criminal investigation.
“As a matter of state policy when allegations of physical contact are made, the agency informs the complainant that they should contact their local police department,” Garvey said.
“If they decline, the agency has an obligation to reach out themselves and inform the department of the allegation. In this case the person is represented by counsel and when counsel confirmed the client did not want to make a report, the state notified the police department and gave them the attorney’s information.“
In a statement, the New York State Police also said it “reached out to the Albany Police yesterday to facilitate a contact with the executive chamber regarding the alleged incident.”
It’s unclear at this point whether the accusation against Cuomo is something that “rises to the level of a crime or assault,” the source familiar with the matter said.
The Albany County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment, but a source there said Cuomo couldn’t be prosecuted unless his accuser cooperates with authorities.
“Reports have to come from a direct victim and be filed with a law enforcement agency, whether that be the DA’s office or a police agency,” the source said.
Meanwhile, Garvey held a conference call Thursday with members of Cuomo’s staff during which she gave them multiple options for reporting complaints about harassment, a source who listened in told The Post.
Garvey said a worker could talk to her, a supervisor or a private lawyer, the source said.
The incident that was referred to the police allegedly took place late last year in the Executive Mansion in Albany, the Albany Times Union reported on Wednesday.
A person familiar with the woman’s account told the paper that she said Cuomo put his hands under her blouse and groped her, and that she told him to stop.
The female staffer, who hasn’t been identified beyond being much younger than Cuomo, was reportedly summoned to the 63-year-old governor’s official residence to fix a problem with his cellphone.
Under New York Penal Law, it is illegal to forcibly touch a person’s “intimate parts” to gratify “sexual desire” or to degrade or abuse the victim.
That conduct, called “forcible touching,” is a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail.
The groping allegation is the most serious to emerge from the wave of accusations that followed last month’s publication of an online essay in which former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan detailed what she described as a pattern of sexual harassment of her by Cuomo, including kissing her “on the lips” in his Manhattan office in 2018.
Four other women, including three ex-aides, have since publicly made various allegations of harassment and other inappropriate behavior by the governor.
Cuomo’s office hasn’t made any comments since the governor — who has repeatedly said he “never touched anyone inappropriately” — issued a statement on Wednesday night denying the allegations in the Times Union report.
“As I said yesterday, I have never done anything like this. The details of this report are gut-wrenching,” Cuomo said.
“I am not going to speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation given the ongoing review, but I am confident in the result of the Attorney General’s report.”
Cuomo has pledged to cooperate with the probe and urged New Yorkers to withhold judgment pending its findings.