Cuomo denies new sexual harassment allegation, duck re-election problem
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a daily briefing following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Manhattan in New York City, New York on July 13, 2020.
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A woman currently serving on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s staff has accused him of inappropriately touching her at the governor’s mansion. This emerges from a new report.
The woman who has not been identified is the youngest in a line of women who have alleged that Cuomo sexually molested them or otherwise touched them or talked to them inappropriately.
The Albany Times Union newspaper reported that the woman recently told a supervisor in the Executive Chamber that Cuomo touched her inappropriately last year “during a meeting at the governor’s mansion where she was called to work”.
This complaint was reported to Cuomo’s attorney by other staff at the Executive Chamber and then passed on to the Attorney General Letitia James.
James appointed a group of private lawyers on Monday to investigate women’s allegations against Cuomo. Two of these women, Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett, previously worked as aides for Cuomo.
Boylan says Cuomo kissed her without her consent. Bennett said he asked her questions about her sex life, which she found to be an effort to get her to have a physical relationship with him.
Cuomo said during a press conference later on Tuesday, “I’m not aware of the new claim,” when a reporter asked about it.
But he reiterated the rejection of wrongdoing he first made last week.
“I’ve never touched anyone inappropriately … I’ve never made inappropriate progress,” said Cuomo. “Nobody told me at the time that they were uncomfortable.”
Cuomo said he told his daughters the same thing about the allegations. The governor has three daughters with his ex-wife Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late New York Senator and US Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
A spokesman for James declined to comment on the new allegation reported by the Times Union.
Cuomo, who has refused to step down despite the growing number of claims against him, refused to answer Tuesday whether he will seek a fourth term that his father Mario Cuomo failed to win after three terms as governor of New York.
“Today is not a day for politics,” said Cuomo. “I concentrate on my job.”
Cuomo also said with a sharpness in his voice to the reporter, who asked if the allegations would cause him to reconsider the race for next year, saying, “You don’t know any facts, right? You know allegations. You don’t know any Facts. “”
“Let’s work on the facts,” added the governor. “We have an investigation … let’s find out the facts and then we can have a discussion about the facts.”
Cuomo, who called for then Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to resign in 2018 within hours of allegations of sexual abuse against Schneiderman, brushed aside a question as to why he should be treated differently.
“There are allegations and then there are allegations, right? And there are a range of allegations. There is capital crime, there is physical violence, to minor violations,” Cuomo said.
A number of Democratic leaders had urged Cuomo to step down before the latest prosecutor’s allegation was revealed on Tuesday.