ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York state trooper who testified that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed her filed a lawsuit Thursday and asked a federal court to declare that Cuomo, a top aide and state police violated her civil rights.
The trooper, whose name was not disclosed in the lawsuit, filed the suit in Manhattan against Cuomo, New York State Police and Cuomo's former top aide Melissa DeRosa. The lawsuit seeks attorney fees, damages for "severe mental anguish and emotional distress," and a declaratory judgment that Cuomo, DeRosa and state police violated civil laws on the federal, state and city level prohibiting sexual harassment.
Cuomo resigned in August, days after an independent probe found he sexually harassed nearly a dozen women and worked to retaliate against one of his accusers. Those accusers included the unnamed state trooper, who was on his security detail and said he allegedly subjected her to sexual remarks and on occasion ran his hand or fingers across her stomach and her back.
"As with his other victims, the governor used his physical proximity to Trooper 1 to touch her inappropriately," the lawsuit alleged.
"He commented on her appearance ('why don’t you wear a dress?); wanted to kiss her ('(c)an I kiss you?'); asked her to find him a girlfriend who could ‘handle pain;’ and steered their conversations towards sex ('(w)hy would you want to get married? ... your sex drive goes down')," the suit said.
Several district attorneys in New York said they found Cuomo’s accusers "credible," but said the available evidence wasn’t strong enough to file criminal charges against him.
Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi blasted the trooper’s lawsuit Thursday.
"Gov. Cuomo will fight every attempt at cheap cash extortions and is anxious to have the dirty politics stop — we look forward to justice in a court of law," Azzopardi said.
DeRosa's attorney Paul Schectman said his client, the governor's top aide, only interacted with the trooper to say "'hello and goodbye.'"
"It is not a viable case anywhere in America and is beyond frivolous," Schectman said.
A spokesperson for New York State Police didn’t immediately provide comment Thursday.
Cuomo has denied he ever intended to touch anyone inappropriately.
Sexual harassment accusations against Cuomo began to mount in early 2021.
He initially offered an apology for behavior with women that "may have been insensitive or too personal," and said some of his past remarks were "misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation."