Lawmakers, constituents and organizations are calling for an investigation of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) after a second former aide accused him of sexual harassment.
Charlotte Bennett, 25, who was an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration until last November, told The New York Times in a story published Saturday that the governor asked questions about her sex life, whether she was monogamous and if she had ever had sex with older men. He reportedly told her he was open to relationships with women in their 20s.
Lindsey Boylan, a former state economic development official, alleged late last year that the governor sexually harassed her several times from 2016 to 2018. She accused him Wednesday of kissing her without consent.
Cuomo has denied that he sexually harassed either woman.
Several GOP critics of Cuomo are gleefully calling for a probe of the allegations — and even for Cuomo’s immediate ouster. But Democrats are also asking for an investigation.
Cuomo’s office announced Saturday that an outside “review” of the accusations will be conducted by a former federal judge. But others emphasized the importance of a truly independent investigation.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) called the allegations “deeply troubling,” saying they deserve a “thorough investigation” that must be “transparent, impartial, and above all else, independent.”
My statement on the allegations of sexual harassment by Governor Cuomo: pic.twitter.com/3aIniWFzJ0
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) February 28, 2021
Andrew Yang, a former presidential candidate turned New York City mayoral candidate, also called for an “aggressive independent investigation.”
“Albany must show they take all allegations seriously through action,” Yang said in a statement. “That starts with an aggressive independent investigation and an acknowledgement that harassment has no place in public service.”
— Emily Ngo (@emilyngo) February 28, 2021
#BREAKING: Tonight I issued a statement regarding assertions of sexual harassment against Governor Cuomo. As a New Yorker, a legislator, Chair of the Senate Ethics and Internal Governance Committee, and a survivor of sexual abuse, I am calling for Governor Cuomo to resign. pic.twitter.com/2aKiN8CIkR
— Alessandra Biaggi (@SenatorBiaggi) February 28, 2021
State Sen. James Skoufis (D), the chairman of the state Senate investigations committee, said the “disturbing” allegations “warrant an independent, outside, expeditious investigation.”
1/2 Sexual harassment cannot be tolerated, regardless of how powerful the individuals involved are. The allegations made by, now, a number of women against the Governor are deeply disturbing and warrant an independent, outside, expeditious investigation.
— James Skoufis (@JamesSkoufis) February 27, 2021
2/2 In order to safeguard public confidence in the findings, neither the Executive nor the Legislature nor JCOPE can lead the inquiry. The investigation must be completely independent of potential influence and politics.
— James Skoufis (@JamesSkoufis) February 27, 2021
New York’s Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz (D) also called for a “truly independent” investigation, adding that “all allegations of workplace sexual harassment must be taken seriously.”
All allegations of workplace sexual harassment must be taken seriously. The multiple allegations made against the governor would be unacceptable for a superior to make in any workplace. A truly independent investigation of the allegations must commence immediately. https://t.co/pa4RlhoG2w
— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) February 28, 2021
It is our belief that Andrew Cuomo should resign as the Governor of New York. https://t.co/27Lyyprgh7
— New York Communities for Change (@nychange) February 28, 2021
Trump-supporting Republicans, like former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, were particularly eager to pile on Cuomo.
Donald Trump Jr. said Cuomo should be held to the same standards he demanded for Brett Kavanaugh after Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault. Yet Kavanaugh became and remains a Supreme Court associate justice. And Trump’s own father has been accused of sexual misconduct by 25 women.
🚨🚨🚨 Let’s make sure we hold Andrew Cuomo to the same standards that he would hold others to. Only seems fair. https://t.co/3YGpvBFw5V
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 28, 2021
If Andrew Cuomo is expected to resign, Kavanaugh should resign, Jim Jordan should resign and Trump should be barred from elective office. Democrats should not be the only ones held accountable.
— Henry M. Rosenberg (@DoctorHenryCT) February 25, 2021
Boylan, the first former aide who accused Cuomo of harassment, bashed the governor’s claim Saturday that he considered himself a “mentor” to Bennett. She also promised she’d have more to say Sunday.
Andrew Cuomo wouldn’t understand the concept of mentorship if it punched him in the face. He grooms women to feel like they have no way out. That’s the training he does. I’ll have more to say tomorrow.