Second staff member accuses Governor Cuomo of sexual harassment

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Topline

A former adviser to the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, told the New York Times On Saturday, she was sexually harassed by Cuomo last year, the second woman last week to accuse the beleaguered governor of unwanted sexual advances.

Highlights

Elder Cuomo Executive assistant and Councilor Charlotte Bennett told the Time Cuomo has asked deeply personal questions about her sex life, especially if she’s single and if she’s ever slept with an older man.

Bennett said she interpreted the remarks as Cuomo’s advances.

the Time says he reviewed the text messages Bennett sent to friends and family detailing some of his conversations with the governor after they happened.

Bennett reported the allegations to Cuomo’s chief of staff, and she was quickly reassigned to a new role away from the governor’s office (she left state government last November).

In a statement to Forbes, Cuomo said he considered himself a mentor to Bennett and never made improper advances, but said Bennett “had every right to speak out” and promised independent scrutiny. of the question by former Federal Judge Barbara Jones.

Cuomo’s special attorney, Beth Garvey, said in a declaration that Bennett’s allegations were treated with respect: Bennett had shown a “long-standing interest” in the new post to which she had been reassigned, and she was ultimately pleased with the reaction of the governor’s office, Garvey said.

Crucial quote

“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt terribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett told the Time.

Tangent

Bennett’s story comes just three days later another former Cuomo staff member detailed allegations of sexual harassment against the governor. In one Medium post Former special adviser Lindsey Boylan said on Wednesday that Cuomo had harassed her for years: the governor would “do whatever he could to touch me,” she wrote, and at one point he had it. kissed on the lips. Boylan, who left state government in 2018 and is now running for President of the Manhattan Borough, initially accused Cuomo of harassment in a series of tweets last December (a spokesperson for Cuomo called the allegations “just plain bogus”).

Key context

Cuomo has faced a flood of criticism in recent weeks. Critics on both sides say its swift response to Covid-19 – once applauded in some corners – left the seniors in nursing homes exposed to coronavirus, and its administration is now accused of reduce the number of deceased nursing home residents by 50%. In addition, Cuomo employees would have recognized to lawmakers that they delayed the release of death data because they were concerned about a federal inquiry, a decision some opponents called obstruction of justice (Cuomo denied having committed a fault but admitted it should have been more transparent). And one increasing litany of New York politicians say Cuomo intimidated or threatened them for perceived slights.

Further reading

Cuomo accused of sexual harassment by second former aide (New York Times)

‘It’s like gangster stuff’: More New York politicians accuse Cuomo of threatening behavior (Forbes)





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