Brittany Commisso, a former executive assistant to Andrew Cuomo, has filed a lawsuit against the ex-governor, accusing him of sexual assault. The New York Post reported this legal action on Friday, just before the deadline for the Adult Survivors Act.
Commisso worked in the Executive Chamber from 2019 to August 2021. She alleges that during this time, Cuomo subjected her to various forms of mistreatment, including “humiliating and demeaning tasks, hugs, kisses, sexual touching of the buttocks, and forcible touching of the breast.”
Having joined Cuomo’s team in 2017, Commisso previously accused the 65-year-old of groping her inside the Executive Mansion, resulting in a misdemeanor criminal complaint. She claims that Cuomo began retaliating against her on December 7, 2020, the day she rejected his advances. The allegations, outlined in the summons filed in Albany Supreme Court, detail these incidents.
After reporting Cuomo’s alleged misconduct on March 8, 2021, Commisso was demoted by then-Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. She was reassigned to answer telephones in the Lieutenant Governor’s office, facing a loss of overtime pay, minimal work, ostracization from colleagues, and hindered career opportunities, according to court documents.
The lawsuit also implicates the state and Cuomo’s special counsel Judith Mogul for aiding and abetting Commisso’s mistreatment and demotion. Filed a day before the closure of the New York Adult Survivors Act window, which suspended the statute of limitations for a year, the lawsuit enables abuse victims to file lawsuits regardless of the age of their claims.
In 2022, the Albany County district attorney dropped the criminal sexual assault case against Cuomo. He resigned in August 2021 amid various misconduct allegations. Cuomo, facing accusations from 11 women of sexual harassment or mistreatment, denies all claims.
Earlier in March, another former assistant, Charlotte Bennette, filed a lawsuit against Cuomo, reiterating claims from a previous federal case. She accused Cuomo of making jokes about sexual harassment investigations and asking invasive questions about her sex life. Cuomo is also accused of covering up nursing home death numbers during the pandemic, a claim he denies.
Despite the legal challenges, Cuomo’s legal expenses are covered by the state, with taxpayers shouldering $20 million in fees related to state and federal investigations into him and his administration. Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, criticized Commisso’s lawsuit, calling it a pursuit for money.
“Ms. Commisso’s claims are provably false, which is why the Albany District Attorney dismissed the case two years ago after a thorough investigation,” Glavin said. “Ms. Commisso’s transparent attempt at a cash grab will fail. We look forward to seeing her in court.”