Senator Alessandra Biaggi, D-Bronx.
Hans Pennink | AP
New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi said Wednesday she was one of the witnesses who spoke to the attorney general’s team leading the sexual harassment investigation against Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Biaggi, who once worked in the governor’s office, told CNBC that she met with investigators in New York City in July. Although she did not give CNBC details of those conversations, lawmakers said that in conversations with investigators she repeated much of what she had already publicly stated about her experience working for Cuomo.
“I was interviewed,” Biaggi told CNBC when asked if the attorney general’s team had spoken to her, confirming that the meeting took place in the Big Apple last month.
Biaggi told CNBC that her interview with the Attorney General for the Cuomo Inquiry proves that those who investigated the governor’s alleged conduct were extremely thorough and turned every stone to learn the truth.
“Which is why it is also important that we, as viewers of the governor’s response, see, among other things, an attempt to undermine the credibility of the reporting,” said Biaggi. “Attempts are now being made to undermine the credibility of the witnesses, namely the eleven women and especially Charlotte Bennett.”
“I think it is very important that your readers understand that the investigation was thorough, and then if a witness was found to be credible, it was because there was corroborative evidence,” Biaggi continued.
Biaggi previously described a toxic work environment in the governor’s office. Since the report was published, Biaggi has asked Cuomo either to resign and, if he does not, the State Assembly should indict him. Cuomo continues to deny wrongdoing.
“It’s a culture where people are constantly being abused and yelled at,” Biaggi, a progressive who represents New York’s 34th borough, said in another interview earlier this year. “There are intimidation tactics that happen when you are not seen as someone who is just carrying out the governor’s orders or orders in a way that he may see fit, even if you think it is unethical.”
The New York Attorney General’s report states that Cuomo sexually molested at least 11 women and violated federal law. Manhattan and Westchester prosecutors asked New York attorney general Letitia James for evidence related to her office’s bombing report on Wednesday.
The report itself does not name any witnesses, but notes that James’ team spoke to dozens of people.
“In the course of our investigation, we interviewed dozens of people, including complainants, current and former members of the Executive Chamber, state troopers, other government officials and others who were in regular contact with the governor,” the report said.
Biaggi did not rule out running for the governor or any other senior officer, such as lieutenant governor or auditor, though she did point out that she would wait and see what happened next to Cuomo before making a future decision. CNBC reported last month that it is privately considering a major challenge against Cuomo.
“It’s a reasonable question, but what I want to tell you is that it’s absolutely not my focus because it’s not over yet.
“Until this person is no longer in office, even talking about it is not really helpful, because the most important thing I can do at this moment, and until he is no longer in office, is to make sure that it is no longer him in office because of the damage it causes, “said Biaggi.
“Until that is done, we should focus on it and everything else is really a distraction by then,” she added.