A state ethics commission has cleared Sam Hoyt of sexual harassment and assault charges.
The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics determined Hoyt did not abuse his state position as regional president of Empire State Development to engage in a personal relationship with former state employee Lisa Marie Cater.
The Commission said it reviewed hundreds of pages of records, including emails, employment records, and information from multiple witnesses.
According to the state commission, Cater was uncooperative throughout the inquiry. The commission also said there was enough evidence to support the existence of a consensual personal relationship between Hoyt and Cater.
Cater did not report directly to Hoyt.
Hoyt's attorney released a statement saying, "we are pleased that JCOPE [Joint Commission on Public Ethics] found ‘no evidence’ that Mr. Hoyt abused his public position or used his official position to extort any sexual favors."
Hoyt stepped down from his public position in October 2017 because of the state-run harassment investigation. Cater filed a federal lawsuit against Hoyt a month later. The lawsuit alleged Hoyt repeatedly sexually harassed Cater starting in 2015. The suit also alleged the governor's office ignored several complaints made by Cater, including multiple phone calls as well social media posts in which Cater alleged Hoyt was harassing her.