Investigators to question New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over sexual harassment allegations
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will face questioning on multiple allegations of sexual harassment on Saturday, according to a recent report.
Former federal prosecutor Annemarie McAvoy told NBC's New York affiliate WNBC that investigators will "probably talk to him about what they've learned thus far. See what his reaction is."
“You do try to get as much information beforehand, so it would make sense this is going toward the tailed. But they may still go back and talk to some of the women again based on what he tells them,” she added.
Cuomo advisor Rich Azzopardi said in a statement quoted by NBC that "the governor doesn’t want to comment on this review until he has cooperated, but the continued leaks are more evidence of the transparent political motivation of the attorney general’s review.”
In February, former Cuomo staffer Lindsay Boylan posted an essay online detailing allegations that the governor engaged in sexual harassment against her and other female personnel.
These allegations include a reported plane trip in October 2017 in which Cuomo sat too close to her and made a crude remark. On another occasion, she alleges that he kissed her on the lips.
“Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected,” wrote Boylan.
“His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right. He used intimidation to silence his critics. And if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences.”
Cuomo's Press Secretary Caitlin Girouard released a statement soon after the essay was published, claiming that Boylan's allegations “are quite simply false."
“In Ms. Boylan's latest blog post, she opens up with a story about a plane trip in October 2017 … [however], there was no flight where Lindsey was alone with the Governor, a single press aide, and a NYS Trooper,” stated Girouard.
The statement did not specifically address other accusations by Boylan, including the claim that Cuomo would “go out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs” or that he once gave her an unwanted kiss on the lips.
Cuomo has also faced allegations of mishandling the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by placing people who tested positive for the virus in nursing homes.
Critics believe that the move led to hundreds if not thousands of deaths, as reports indicate that the Cuomo administration did its best to downplay the severity of the situation.
At a press conference in March, New York State Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay announced his intention to file impeachment proceedings against Cuomo.
Barclay said there had been “one bombshell after another” regarding the governor, namely the sexual harassment allegations and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We had the AG report, came out saying that the governor was underreporting nursing home deaths by as much as 50%,” Barclay added at the time.
“We had that secret political meeting where he had his top aides say they weren’t reporting the nursing home deaths because they’re worried about a Department of Justice investigation.”
“We had the bullying and the harassing of sitting members of the state Legislature,” he continued. “Then we had five courageous women come forward to talk about their abuse, sexual harassment, and other abuse at the hands of the governor.”