Sexual Harassment Working Group Continues
Fight for Legitimate Accountability of Andrew Cuomo
Advocates formally request a State Bar grievance investigation into disgraced ex-Governor’s violation of N.Y.’s ‘Rules of Professional Conduct’
New York – While Andrew Cuomo continues his “vindication” media campaign, the Sexual Harassment Working Group (SHWG) is fighting for actual accountability for the harm he inflicted on at least eleven women.
The worker collective of former legislative staffers submitted an official grievance complaint to the New York State Bar, requesting that disciplinary proceedings begin immediately.
“Given the sustained and brazen nature of his offenses, we believe it’s clear that Mr. Cuomo is not fit to continue serving as an attorney in the state of New York,” the group wrote in their request.
The New York Rules of Professional Conduct explicitly prohibit a lawyer from unlawfully discriminating in the practice of law. Under federal and New York state laws, sexual harassment is a form of discrimination. The Rules also point to the responsibility of lawyers who become publicly elected officials to uphold the professional role that comes with an attorney’s license.
It would not be the first time a public officer was brought up on disciplinary charges by the New York State Bar. Former Attorney General of New York, Eric Schneiderman, had his license suspended for sexual misconduct; Michael Boxley, former counsel to ex-assembly speaker Sheldon Silver, had his license suspended after pleading guilty to sexual misconduct.
“Two separate investigations concluded Cuomo broke state and federal law when he sexually harassed members of his staff, yet not a single institution has meaningfully held him responsible for the harm he’s caused,” said the Sexual Harassment Working Group. “Much like holding public office, admission to the Bar is not an entitlement for the powerful, but an earned privilege. Mr. Cuomo lost that privilege with his harmful behavior and flagrant disregard for the law. His victims deserve justice. New Yorkers deserve meaningful accountability. And the legal community deserves representation that does not undermine the dignity of law in New York.
We expect this committee to do its duty to hold Mr. Cuomo professionally accountable for his unlawful conduct.”