An aide to New York Governor Groper Andrew Cuomo says he groped her in the governor’s residence, a newspaper reported Wednesday, in the most serious allegation made yet by a series of women against the embattled Democrat.
The Times Union of Albany reported that the woman, who it did not name, was alone with Cuomo late last year when he closed the door, reached under her shirt, and fondled her. The newspaper’s reporting is based on an unidentified source with direct knowledge of the woman’s accusation. The governor had summoned her to the Executive Mansion in Albany, saying he needed help with his cellphone, the newspaper reported.
“I have never done anything like this,” Cuomo said through a spokesperson Wednesday evening.
“The details of this report are gut-wrenching,” Cuomo said, adding that he would not speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation, given an ongoing investigation overseen by the state attorney general.
The three-term governor faces harassment allegations from several other women and increasingly urgent calls for his resignation or impeachment from at least some fellow Democrats. Cuomo has repeatedly said he won’t resign.
“He’s openly said he will not resign. And with further mounting allegations that are deeply credible, we are in a position now where I think we should impeach,” said Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas, a Democrat who had previously pushed for his resignation.
The woman whose account was reported by the Times Union said Cuomo had touched her and made flirtatious comments on multiple occasions. According to the newspaper, her allegations came to light as Cuomo staffers watched the governor’s March 3 news conference, his first after a new round of sexual harassment claims made in late February.
In it, he denied ever touching a woman inappropriately. The aide subsequently became emotional and told a female supervisor who approached her about her encounters with the governor. At least one supervisor reported the allegation to an attorney in the governor’s office Monday, the newspaper reported.
Prior to Wednesday’s report, the allegations against Cuomo include a combination of claims that he made the workplace an uncomfortable place for young women, ranging from flirtatious comments to a nonconsensual kiss.
At least five accusers — Charlotte Bennett, Lindsey Boylan, Anna Liss, Karen Hinton and the latest accuser — worked for the governor in Albany or during his time in President Bill Clinton’s Cabinet. Another, Anna Ruch, told The New York Times that she met Cuomo at a friend’s wedding
Cuomo has denied inappropriately touching anyone but he said he ‘Felt Bad‘ if he made anyone uncomfortable and didn’t intend to do so.
New York Governor Groper
The controversy was sparked by former aide Lindsey Boylan, 36, who accused Cuomo, 63, of sexual harassment after kissing her “on the lips” without warning in his Manhattan office in 2018.
Boylan, now a Democratic candidate for Manhattan borough president, also alleged in an online essay that Cuomo told her, “Let’s play strip poker,” during an October 2017 flight on his official state jet.
Bennett, 25, has said she was summoned to the Capitol on a weekend and left alone with Cuomo, who asked her for help with his cellphone. She has said Cuomo asked about her sex life and asked if she would be open to a relationship with an older man. Bennett did not allege that Cuomo tried to grope her.
“The Governor’s sexual harassment, which Charlotte Bennett reported, was buried by his aides and never properly investigated,” Katz’s statement said. “Because of their enablement, another young woman was left in harm’s way.”
And in a report on Monday, Anna Ruch, a 33-year-old former White House staffer under then-President Barack Obama, accused Cuomo of sexual harassment after coming on to her, grabbing her face and kissing her after he officiated at the 2019 wedding of an administration aide, Gareth Rhodes, to another former Obama staffer, Alexa Kissinger.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Liss said the governor “asked her if she had a boyfriend, called her sweetheart, touched her on her lower back at a reception and once kissed her hand when she rose from her desk.” The report notes that she originally believed her interactions with the governor were “harmless fun” and later found his actions patronizing.
Former press aide Karen Hinton endured a “very long, too long, too tight, too intimate” embrace from Cuomo in a dimly lit Los Angeles hotel room in December 2000, she told the Washington Post. The married Hinton pulled away, but “he [Cuomo] pulls me back for another intimate embrace, so I just pull away again, and I leave.”
As TuskerDaily reported State Attorney General Letitia James has already been scrutinizing how the Cuomo administration handled data concerning COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes.
Cuomo has been under fire for weeks, beginning with revelations that his administration withheld details from the public about the pandemic’s death toll among residents in state nursing homes.
Scrutiny of the governor — who received accolades during the height of the coronavirus pandemic for leadership that yielded a book deal and calls for a national political career – exploded after a New York Post bombshell report.
The New York Post exclusive reported that Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top aide privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for Cuomo’s Nursing Home COVID Death Toll Cover-up.
The stunning admission of a cover-up was made by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call telling state Democratic leaders.
DeRosa confessed that “we froze” out of fear the true numbers would “be used against us” by federal prosecutors, or that they could be used by Trump in his 2020 reelection.
The Only Question Remaining For New York’s Governor Groper Is ‘Will He Resign or Get Impeached?’
It was unclear how much the latest allegation would further erode Cuomo’s support in the New York State Legislature.
While several state legislators from both parties have called for Cuomo’s resignation or impeachment, most have indicated they will wait for the probe’s conclusion.
“How can we allow this man to lead our state? We must impeach,” Democratic Assembly member Zohran Kwame Mamdani tweeted Wednesday night.
She was called to assist @NYGovCuomo w/ a cell phone issue.
“They were alone in Cuomo's private residence when he closed the door & allegedly reached under her blouse & began to fondle her.”
How can we allow this man to lead our state?
We must impeach.https://t.co/wlkX1d5BYD
— Zohran Kwame Mamdani (@ZohranKMamdani) March 10, 2021
Republican Assembly member Mike Lawler on Twitter called Cuomo “a sexual predator” who should be charged.
— Assemblyman Mike Lawler (@lawler4ny) February 28, 2021