SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — National Grid’s local spokesperson, Virginia Limmiatis, is listed as one of the eleven woman with a complaint against Governor Andrew Cuomo in an investigation conducted by the New York Attorney General’s Office.
During an interview, Limmiatis told investigators that she attended an event with Governor Cuomo in May of 2017 and reached for a handshake while waiting in a rope line to greet him.
According to the investigation, Limmiatis was wearing a shirt embroidered with the National Grid logo.
Investigators write that Cuomo “ran two fingers across her chest, pressing down on each of the letters as he did so and reading out the name of the Energy Company as he went.”
The investigators redacted National Grid and substituted the words “Energy Company.”
Further, investigators learned: “When the Governor reached Ms. Limmiatis, he then leaned in, with his face close to Ms. Limmiatis’s cheek, and said, ‘I’m going to say I see a spider on your shoulder,’ before brushing his hand in the area between her shoulder and breasts (and below her collarbone). Ms. Limmiatis was shocked, and immediately informed a number of other attendees of what had happened.
Tuesday, Governor Cuomo defended his actions by saying: “the facts are much different than what has been portrayed.”
Cuomo did not specifically name Limmiatis or deny her individual account, but said, “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances
Investigators say Limmiatis came forward after she watched his March 3 briefing claiming that he never touched anyone inappropriately.
Limmiatis testified to investigators: “He is lying again. He touched me inappropriately. I am compelled to come forward to tell the truth. I didn’t know how to report what he did to me at the time and was burdened by shame, but not coming forward now would make me complicit in his lie, and I won’t do it.”
Investigators write that Limmiatis testified that she was too shocked and appalled during the
interaction to say anything, but immediately realized she knew he had “done something wrong
and that he had to create a cover story.”
Four people Limmiatis confided to immediately after the event, including her sister, confirmed her account to investigators.
When shown photographs of the 2017 event, Limmiatis told investigators that it was difficult for her to
see them due to a flood of negative emotions about the incident, including shame.
Investigators included the transcript of a prepared statement read aloud by Limmiatis.
Prepared Statement from Virginia Limmiatis to Investigators
The day started with excitement and joy, but quickly turned into something ugly because of the actions of the Governor. I was there as a professional to do my work. The Governor turned a sincere gesture of simply extending my hand as an expression of gratitude for the State’s partnership into a moment of profound shame and humiliation. He did not respect me as a professional and a contributor to the project. I want to tell the governor that this is not about cancel culture. This is about consequences.– Prepared Statement from Virginia Limmiatis to Investigators
My coming forward is a direct result of the Governor’s March 3 press conference in which he said, “I never touched anyone inappropriately.” He is lying again. He touched me inappropriately. I am compelled
to come forward to tell the truth. I do not know how to report what he did to me—I didn’t know how to report what he did to me at the time and was burdened by shame, but not coming forward now would make me complicit in his lie, and I won’t do it. I am a cancer survivor. I know an oppressive and destructive force when I see it. Thank you.”
Statement to NewsChannel 9 from Virginia Limmiatis’ Attorney
The report is extraordinarily thorough and detailed, and finds the governor repeatedly engaged in unlawful behavior. Specifically, Cuomo engaged in profoundly humiliating and abusive behavior towards women who worked for and with him, including by touching their intimate body parts without consent.
And more even than that, Cuomo and those around him punished anyone who dared to come forward and report his behavior.
I represent two women who were subjected to his abuse – Alyssa McGrath who still works for the Governor, and Virginia Limmiatis, who was subjected to his unwanted touching in 2017.
They were enormously courageous in coming forward. They feel profoundly grateful to the AG’s team for taking this seriously and examining their reports thoroughly and carefully.
Cuomo’s misogyny and abuse cannot be denied. He has been doing this for years, without any repercussions.
He should not be in charge of our government and should not be in any position of power over anyone else.
Lawyer for Alyssa McGrath and Virginia Limmiatis