Even as Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces new allegations related to his administration’s COVID-19 policies with regard to nursing homes, his problems are also multiplying in other areas.
Most notably, he is being accused of sexual harassment by one former staffer, leading even some in his own party to call for a thorough investigation.
“Not only condoned but expected”
The latest news comes on the heels of reports that the Cuomo administration underreported the number of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents following a controversial policy requiring infected patients to be readmitted to such facilities.
Now, Lindsey Boylan, a candidate for Manhattan borough president, is going public with her claims against her former boss.
Boylan worked as Cuomo’s economic adviser between 2015 and 2018 and first hinted at the abusive behavior in December but did not include details. At the time, Cuomo denied the claim and the matter largely faded away.
In a recent article published on Medium, however, she provided various specific allegations and accusing him of creating “a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.”
Boylan specifically claimed that Cuomo “would go out of his way” to touch her inappropriately, told her that he had a “crush” on her, and even kissed her on the lips during one encounter. During one flight in October 2017, she wrote that he propositioned her to play strip poker.
“It’s just not true”
“His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right,” she wrote. “He used intimidation to silence his critics.”
In response to Boylan’s first accusations late last year, Cuomo said: “Look, I fought for and I believe a woman has the right to come forward and express her opinion and express issues and concerns that she has, but it’s just not true.”
He maintained that position in a statement released on Wednesday by his press secretary, Caitlin Girouard. Four officials who were reportedly present on the flight in question each denied Boylan’s claims.
Nevertheless, many advocates on both sides of the aisle are calling for an investigation into the allegations. This includes the Sexual Harassment Working Group, which was launched by former state legislative workers, as well as the Time’s Up Foundation, a celebrity-studded group founded following the scandal involving disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, as the New York Post notes.
New York Attorney General, Letitia James, whose office conducted an investigation that led to new details in the nursing home scandal, is reportedly considering whether to begin a probe into Boylan’s claims. Despite the obvious newsworthiness of the allegations, though, the latest chapter in the Cuomo saga has been largely ignored by most mainstream media outlets.