Hoyt accused of groping, sexting as accuser files federal lawsuit

State official left his post before scandal broke
Posted at 5:10 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 18:20:50-05

Lisa Cater says she was jobless and down on her luck when Sam Hoyt got her a job at the State Department of Motor Vehicles -- a job she says he later told her "could go away at any time" if she resisted his sexual advances.

“It has been very difficult for me to come forward with this,” Cater said Sunday outside a Manhattan courthouse.

In a newly filed federal lawsuit, Cater alleges Hoyt:

- Sent her a nude photo of himself, asking her "Do you think I look tan?"

- When she confronted him, saying, "I can't be abused by you anymore..." she says Hoyt grabbed and squeezed her private area, saying, "You know this is what I want!"

Hoyt's attorney Terry Connors denies the claims, saying in a prepared statement, “These new allegations are totally inconsistent with her original story and contradicted by her own email and text message correspondence. If she persists with this lawsuit, we will seek dismissal at the earliest stage.”

Meanwhile Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration points to three state agencies who looked into the matter, with state officials saying Cater did not fully cooperate with the probe.

"We take every allegation of sexual harassment seriously and the facts in this matter are very clear: Upon learning of this complaint, the state opened the first of three dedicated investigations into this matter,” said Alphonso David, counsel to the governor. “Despite attempts by state investigators to interview and gather facts and documents from Ms. Cater, she repeatedly ‎refused to cooperate."

Cater's attorney says Hoyt told his client his bosses in the governor's office instructed him to "make this go away." Hoyt later paid her a $50,000 settlement.

“There is no price tag anymore and you cannot put a price on the emotional distress and damage that this individual caused to my client and the lack of investigation and willingness on the part of the state to help my client in her deepest, darkest time of need,” said attorney Paul Liggieri.