Crisis deepens for Cuomo; AG wants to lead harassment probe

Ruben Fields
March 3, 2021

Former Cuomo aides Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett stepped forward with allegations. "While I have deep respect for Chief Judge DiFiore, I am the duly elected attorney general and it is my responsibility to carry out this task, per Executive Law", said AG James. In the second proposal, announced Sunday morning in an attempt to appease legislative leaders, Cuomo asked James and the state's chief appeals court judge, Janet DiFiore, to jointly appoint a lawyer to investigate the claims and issue a public report.

Bennett says these remarks hinted at a sexual relationship. "There must be an independent investigation - not one led by an individual selected by the Governor, but by the office of the Attorney General".

"Governor Cuomo has led NY through a bad time with much to praise".

Bennett said she informed Cuomo's chief of staff about her interaction with the governor and was transferred to another job less than a week later.

Especially during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Cuomo was a frequent guest on his brother's show, where they would joke around together about calling their mom and memorably performed a playful comedy sketch with a giant test swab at the same time the governor's office was underreporting nursing home deaths.

The video has poured fuel on the fire as the NY governor has recently been accused of sexual harassment.

On Wednesday, Boylan said in a blog that Cuomo had harassed her when she was working for his administration, from 2015 to 2018.

A spokesperson for Ms James called Mr Cuomo's idea of simply giving her a role in selecting the investigator unacceptable because that inquisitor would lack the ability to subpoena witnesses and documents and would have to rely on voluntary cooperation. "To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to".

In her essay, Boylan wrote, "Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected".

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Former aide Lindsey Boylan said Cuomo made inappropriate comments about her appearance, kissed her without her consent at the end of a meeting and once suggested they play strip poker while aboard his state-owned jet.

At that time, New York Sen.

Last spring, Cuomo had his brother on Cuomo Prime Time as a guest, breaking with a network policy that he not interview the NY governor because of the obvious conflict of interest.

"The Governor's Office wants a review of the sexual harassment claims made against the Governor to be done in a manner beyond reproach", Garvey said, adding that Cuomo's office will "cooperate fully" with the investigation. "The governor must provide this referral so an independent investigation with subpoena power can be conducted". I have spent nearly my entire career in public service, and I remember the times when my female colleagues and I knew we couldn't raise our voices about inappropriate behavior without jeopardizing our jobs and our careers. She said Cuomo told her he was lonely and looking for a girlfriend.

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, who represents Pelham in Westchester County, has called for Governor Cuomo to resign.

The Post reported, "Nielsen explained that when she'd reach out to Cuomo's office for comment on a story she often would not get a response - only to then get a barrage of phone calls demanding changes after it was published".

"To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that".

The woman, Anna Ruch, became the third woman to publicly accuse Cuomo of offensive behavior, and the first who had not worked as a state government employee.

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