Nassau County won't prosecute Andrew Cuomo over Belmont Park allegation

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Friday, December 24, 2021
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Nassau County will not prosecute former Governor Andrew Cuomo over allegations that he inappropriately touched a female state trooper at Belmont Park.

MINEOLA, Long Island (WABC) -- The Nassau County District Attorney's Office said Thursday that it will not prosecute former Governor Andrew Cuomo over allegations that he inappropriately touched a female state trooper at Belmont Park in Elmont in 2019.

However, acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith said her office "found the allegations credible, deeply troubling, but not criminal under New York law."

"The NCDA has concluded its investigation into allegations of misconduct by former Governor Andrew M. Cuomo at Belmont Racetrack in September 2019 as detailed in the Attorney General's report," she said in a statement. "Our exhaustive investigation found the allegations credible, deeply troubling, but not criminal under New York law. It is important to note that our investigation was limited to alleged conduct at Belmont Racetrack, and prosecutors in other jurisdictions continue to review other allegations of misconduct by Mr. Cuomo. We thank the brave individuals who came forward and cooperated with our office during this investigation, and gratefully acknowledge our colleagues, Attorney General (Letitia) James and the New York State Assembly, for their diligence and collaboration.

The allegation was one of many to emerge from James' report on Cuomo's actions.

ALSO READ | Attorney general releases video of interviews in Cuomo investigation

In an interview with investigators, the female trooper said Cuomo touched her in a way that made her feel "completely violated" as she held a door open for him as he left the New York Islanders event on September 23, 2019.

The former governor has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying he has never touched anyone inappropriately.

A spokesman for Cuomo released the following statement:

"As he has said many times, Governor Cuomo did not remember touching the Trooper, but said that it was a common custom for him to acknowledge the presence of a trooper - male or female - holding a door as he walked past them. This was only meant to be an acknowledgment of their presence and nothing more."

The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a civil inquiry into the allegations, and other New York district attorneys are investigating claims in their individual jurisdictions.

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