State seeks to dismiss Sam Hoyt sexual harassment lawsuit

Suit claims groping of state employee, coverup

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - - A federal lawsuit filed by a former state worker that alleges sexual harassment by Sam Hoyt and a coverup by Governor Cuomo's administration should be dismissed, according to new court papers filed in Manhattan.

Former state employee Lisa Cater in November filed the lawsuit, in which she alleged Hoyt sexted her and groped her before agreeing to a $50,000 "payout" to buy her silence. Hoyt has acknowledged the relationship but denied the groping claims. 

In new court papers, lawyers for the government say Cater's lawsuit violates the Eleventh Amendment, which prohibits the adjudication of state law in federal court without Congressional consent.

They also state that the claim of a Cuomo administration coverup and any involvement by the governor is merely "conjecture and speculation." Cuomo's administration has insisted that Cater's claims were investigated sufficiently by three state agencies.

It is routine for defendants in a lawsuit to seek to have the charges dismissed before the beginning of a trial. 

Hoyt abruptly resigned from his state economic development job in October. He made $156,000 in the post in 2017.

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