Albany, NY – A bipartisan majority of state lawmakers called for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation on Thursday as the New York State Executive Chamber referred the latest groping allegation to the Albany police.
“As a matter of state policy when allegations of physical contact are made, the agency informs the complainant that they should contact their local police department,” Beth Garvey, acting counsel to the governor, said in a statement provided to FOX News.
The agency Garvey referred to is the New York State Executive Chamber.
“If they decline, the agency has an obligation to reach out themselves and inform the department of the allegation,” the attorney explained. “In this case the person is represented by counsel and when counsel confirmed the client did not want to make a report, the state notified the police department and gave them the attorney’s information.”
The latest victim, the sixth woman to have leveled accusations of sexual harassment against Cuomo, told the Albany Times Union the governor touched her inappropriately last year when she was working with him inside the Governor’s Mansion.
Albany Police Department Spokesman Steve Smith told The New York Times that the police department has reached out to the latest victim’s attorney and offered their assistance.
The involvement of the Albany police was announced as the massive bipartisan call for Cuomo’s resignation.
At least At least 121 members of the State Assembly and State Senate – including Democratic Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins – have publicly said that the governor can no longer run the state and must step aside, the Associated Press reported.
That count included 65 Democrats and 56 Republicans.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the call for Cuomo’s resignation on Thursday, Politico reported.
“The specific allegation that the governor called an employee of his, someone who he had power over, called her to a private place and then sexually assaulted her is absolutely unacceptable. It is disgusting to me,” de Blasio said during a press conference at City Hall. “He can no longer serve as governor. It’s as simple as that.”
Cuomo denied the latest allegations against him in a statement on Wednesday, Politico reported.
“I have never done anything like this,” the governor said. “The details of this report are gut-wrenching. I am not going to speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation given the ongoing review, but I am confident in the result of the attorney general’s report.”
Lindsey Boylan, another former aide to Cuomo, kicked off what has become a wave of accusations in December of 2020 when the New York governor’s name was floated as a possible candidate for Attorney General in President Joe Biden’s administration.
Boylan followed up with an essay published on Medium on Feb. 24 that gave a graphic, detailed description of some of her least pleasant experiences working with the governor of New York.
She also named names of the senior staff who knew it was happening in her Medium essay.
Boylan was warned to “be careful around the governor” when she received her job appointment to chief of staff at the state economic development agency.
She wrote that her boss told her that Cuomo had a “crush” on her not long after she first encountered the governor, and then he started calling her “Lisa” in reference to a former girlfriend whom he said she resembled.
Boylan said that Cuomo suggested they “play strip poker” during a flight on a taxpayer funded private jet in 2017.
He also showed off his cigar box to her that was given to him by former President Bill Clinton, making what Boylan interpreted as a reference to the famous Monica Lewinsky affair.
“The Governor’s pervasive harassment extended beyond just me,” she wrote in Medium. “He made unflattering comments about the weight of female colleagues. He ridiculed them about their romantic relationships and significant others. He said the reasons that men get women were ‘money and power.’”
Boylan said she tolerated the verbal sexual harassment but had to draw the line at the physical.
So when Cuomo kissed her on the lips when she was in his office to deliver a briefing, it was her first step toward the door, she wrote in Medium.
Boylan resigned on Sept. 26, 2018 and continued to berate herself for having allowed the situation to continue for so long.
“It was all so normalized — particularly by Melissa DeRosa and other top women around him — that only now do I realize how insidious his abuse was.”
Cuomo’s office has denied the allegations, saying that they are “quite simply false.”
But Boylan’s revelation emboldened other women who said they were victims of the governor’s inappropriate remarks or unwanted touching to step forward and tell their own stories.
Charlotte Bennett said that Cuomo made her so uncomfortable during a meeting in June that she reported her discomfort to a supervisor and asked to be transferred away from the governor, FOX News reported.
Cuomo denied the accusations but said he was sorry that he made Bennett feel uncomfortable.
Former press aide Karen Hinton, who worked for Cuomo when he was Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, told The Washington Post that the governor summoned her to his dimly-lit hotel room after a work event in 2000 and embraced her.
Hinton, a consultant to the agency, said she pulled away from Cuomo and he pulled her back against him and held her before she eventually backed away and left.
Cuomo’s office released a statement denying those claims, too, FOX News reported.
Ana Liss, a former policy and operations aide to Cuomo from 2013 to 2015, accused him of inappropriately touching her on multiple occasions.
Liss said Cuomo touched her back and kissed her hand several different times.
The former aide also complained that Cuomo called her “sweetheart” at work and repeatedly asked about her personal life until the flirtations got to her, FOX News reported.
“Reporters and photographers have covered the governor for 14 years watching him kiss men and women and posing for pictures,” Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi claimed. “At the public open-house mansion reception, there are hundreds of people, and he poses for hundreds of pictures. That’s what people in politics do.”
Anna Ruch has accused Cuomo of making unwanted passes at her during a wedding reception they both attended in 2019, FOX News reported.
The allegations have been referred to New York Attorney General Letitia James, The New York Times reported.
James’ office is overseeing investigation into Cuomo’s behavior with several women, the Times-Union reported.
The independent investigation being overseen will be led by former Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim and employment attorney Anne L. Clark, The New York Times reported.
A report with the findings of the investigation is will be released to the public when it is completed.