By Patrick McAuliffe
I pen this article on the night of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s last day of public office for the rest of his miserable life. State Attorney General Letitia James has concluded her investigation into Big Fredo’s sexual harassment allegations and has found him guilty of assaulting and accosting eleven women from his administration over several decades. I can’t quite explain the joy I feel now that his career is essentially over and his abuse of New York can finally end, so instead, I’ll chronicle how he finally fell and showed his true colors – which are somewhere between stale salami and the sickly face of a dying elderly person – until the bitter end.
In my first article in the Cuomo Chronicles last October, I catalogued how Big Fredo’s administration covered up the true number of approximately 15,000 nursing home deaths, claiming that only half that number had died in the early months of the pandemic. This was before Melissa DeRosa, who resigned from the Cuomo administration a few days after the Attorney General’s harassment report was released, privately admitted to the death toll coverup in February. Cuomo bullied Assemblyman Ron Kim over the latter’s vocal outcry about the scandal, denied any wrongdoing in a radio interview last September, and said that President Trump’s aggressive DOJ was the reason that they hid the numbers in the first place. It’s a shame that Big Fredo wasn’t immediately deposed because of his executive order that led to so much death in the first place, but the narcissistic fun never stops when you ride the Cuomocoaster.
When the people of New York didn’t seem to care about their governor killing Grandma, his hypocrisy regarding women in the workplace became the talk of the town. For months, Big Fredo was beleaguered by accusations of sexual harassment from eleven women, initiated by his former aide Lindsay Boylan. To my surprise, longtime Cuomo ally Letitia James didn’t repeat the history of the Moreland Commission and, instead, actually found him guilty of harassing all of the complainants, as well as fostering a cutthroat workplace culture based on bullying and intimidation. It’s been a delicious trip for me as I scrolled through the comments under each of his tweets; screenshots of his past anti-sexual harassment tweets and memes of his infamous “I’m not perverted, I’m just Italian” moment abounded. His attempt at a response to the AG’s announcement was laughably pathetic and makes one wonder whether his staff genuinely hates him. Who actually believes that pictures of Cuomo appearing publicly and making non-sexual physical contact with them is any sort of refutation of the Attorney General’s findings?
Big Fredo is a regular guy, just like you: as he shipped out of the Governor’s Mansion, he rented a large U-Haul. He has a dog, just like you, that he left behind at the mansion on one of his last days, trying to pawn Captain off on a staff member. Do you have an Emmy Award? Good news, neither does Andrew Cuomo (anymore)! The everyday guy that spoke to New York with such alleged clarity and rationality during the pandemic keeps the $5.2 million from his book sales, as well as his $18 million pension and retirement benefits. He avoids jail time, impeachment, and every other consequence of import for the trail of death and trauma he leaves in his wake.
Kathy Hochul seems to have learned some things from Handsy Andy after her several years as Lieutenant Governor, as she has recently announced that New York public schools will be forced to reinstate their mask mandate. This edict comes not a full week into her governorship. One might think that, since she hails from Buffalo, she would be more willing to consider the needs of local areas in New York beyond everything below the Southern Tier, but this appears to be a misplaced assumption. I’m not optimistic that she’ll reign with a softer touch than Big Fredo, but I was wrong about AG James’ final report and I hope that I’m wrong about this.
Regardless of all of that, the stranglehold that the Italian Stallion has on New York politics is finally broken. I’m officially out of reliable content, but I’ve never wanted to have writer’s block for any other reason. After more than a decade of pastrami-fisted rule, we have the chance to rebuild New York while recognizing the terrible, authoritarian policies that have driven the state into the ground in the first place, tanking small businesses and killing Grandma. I wish Big Fredo the worst of luck, and I hope that he runs face-first into his massively inflated ego on the way out.