New York AG Cleared to ‘Move Forward’ With Inquiry Into Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Cuomo

The Governor of New York has been mired in controversy during recent weeks over several allegations of verbal and physical misconduct with female staffers.

What We Know:

  • Two of Andrew Cuomo’s former aides have come forward with allegations. The first, Lindsey Boylan, detailed in a lengthy account last week, a history of Cuomo’s misconduct going back years, including one instance where he gave Boylan an unsolicited kiss. This was followed on Saturday by Charlotte Bennett, another former aide who claimed that Cuomo asked her personal questions about her sex life.
  • These accusations prompted the Governor, who hasn’t appeared publicly in weeks, to release a statement on Sunday in which he acknowledged that some of his past actions could be deemed as inappropriate. However, Cuomo denies that he ever propositioned or physically touched anyone.
  • Bennet released a public statement on Monday calling the apology inadequate. “These are not the actions of someone who simply feels misunderstood,” she said. “They are the actions of an individual who wields his power to avoid justice.”
  • That same night, The New York Times reported that a third accuser came forward with new allegations against the Governor. The woman, Anna Ruch, was not a former employee of Cuomo. Rather, she met him at a wedding in 2019 where Ruch claims that Cuomo placed his hand on her lower back without her permission, and then her face, asking whether “he could kiss her”.
  • In addition to an ongoing scandal surrounding covid deaths in nursing homes, the wave of sexual harassment accusations against Cuomo has led to calls for his resignation by lawmakers in New York. Furthermore, in a joint statement obtained by Business Insider, six New York legislators have called for the impeachment of the governor, citing his long history of abuse.

“The accounts of sexual harassment from the women who have courageously come forward confirm what many in Albany have known for​​ years​: ​that Governor Cuomo uses his power to belittle, bully and harass his employees and colleagues. . . .Impeachment proceedings are the appropriate avenue for us to pursue as legislators to hold the Governor accountable for his many abuses of power and remove him from office.”

  • On Monday, New York Attorney General Letitia James received a letter from the governor’s office granting her permission to proceed and head an investigation into the accusations. Initially, Cuomo’s office wanted a former federal judge to handle the inquiry but gave into James’ demands that an independent law firm be tasked with the investigation. The findings will be disclosed publicly once the investigation is complete.

Cuomo is the 56th Governor of New York State, a position he has been serving in since 2011. Currently, he is in the midst of his third four-year term as governor, which he began after being re-elected in 2018.