Fresh York Governor Cuomo backs down on blueprint to steal licensed expert to evaluate his alleged sexual misconduct

(Reuters) – Fresh York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s device of job backed down on its blueprint to decide an investigator to evaluate sexual harassment allegations against him, asserting on Sunday it had instead requested the negate’s attorney total and a senior maintain to steal a licensed expert to conduct an objective evaluate.

Cuomo, one in every of the nation’s most effectively-identified Democratic politicians whose fame soared for the length of the early months of the pandemic, has faced a string of controversies in most in vogue weeks including over his administration’s facing of COVID-19 loss of life toll recordsdata from the negate’s nursing properties.

A second former aide came forward on Saturday to accuse Cuomo of sexual misconduct – correct days after one other former employee made the same accusations – sparking criticism from fellow Democrats that ranged from requires his resignation to appeals for an objective probe into his conduct.

Responding to the most in vogue allegations, the governor denied making any sexual advances and in the starting set up ordered what he mentioned would be a “stout and thorough outside evaluate” led by a former federal maintain, Barbara Jones.

But that did no longer fulfill leading Democratic figures including U.S. Handbook Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of Fresh York, who mentioned she came upon the accounts of Cuomo’s former aides Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett “extremely well-known and painful to read.”

“There would possibly perhaps almost definitely well peaceable be an objective investigation – no longer one led by an person selected by the Governor,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter on Sunday sooner than Cuomo’s device of job reversed route.

There were also demands for an objective probe from quite a bit of quite quite a bit of Democrats. White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki educated CNN’s Philosophize of the Union that President Joe Biden supported such an investigation. Others, including Fresh York Philosophize Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Fresh York City Councilman Carlos Menchaca, went further, echoing Republican requires Cuomo to resign.

Under increasing strain, Cuomo’s device of job mentioned that while Jones had a “stellar file” it desired to steer decided of “even the perception of an absence of independence or inference of politics”.

As a result, it mentioned, the governor had requested Fresh York’s Felony expert Traditional Letitia James and Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, to make a range an objective licensed expert to conduct a thorough evaluate and field a public file.

“All contributors of the Governor’s device of job will cooperate totally,” Cuomo’s special counsel, Beth Garvey, mentioned in an announcement. “We are able to private no further comment till the file is issued.”


A spokesman for James mentioned she became once dissatisfied with Cuomo’s statement and that the governor must fabricate an “legitimate referral” to the attorney total’s device of job, which would possibly perhaps almost definitely well give her subpoena energy and enable “an investigation with steady teeth.”

“He’s suggesting a voluntary evaluate with out subpoena energy, with out the flexibility to compel witnesses, with out the flexibility to guarantee we acquire documents,” the spokesman mentioned.

A representative for Cuomo did in a roundabout way touch upon the attorney total’s request of for a referral.

Within the most in vogue misconduct allegations, Bennett, who worked for the governor as an executive assistant and protection handbook for with regards to 2 years till November 2020, educated the Fresh York Times that he had requested her about her sex lifestyles, including whether she became once monogamous in her relationships and if she had ever had sex with older males.

Her legend became once printed days after Boylan, one other former aide, wrote in an on-line essay that the governor made quite a bit of “unhealthy gestures” in the direction of her while she worked for the negate authorities from 2015 to 2018, including sending her a rose on Valentine’s Day and kissing her on the mouth.

Cuomo has denied wrongdoing in each conditions. Reuters would possibly perhaps perhaps no longer independently examine the girls’s accounts. Attempts to attain each women had been unsuccessful.

Cuomo rose to nationwide prominence for his day-to-day televised briefings early on for the length of the coronavirus pandemic, when Fresh York became once the epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic in the us.

The allegations about his conduct with female aides practice a file issued in January by James’ device of job that forged doubt on his administration’s facing of the coronavirus disaster in nursing properties. It mentioned the negate health division significantly undercounted the loss of life toll and applied policies that can private contributed to it.

Fresh York City Mayor Bill de Blasio mentioned on Sunday that there now wished to be two objective investigations, one into Cuomo’s conduct and one other into the nursing dwelling deaths.

“Questions of this magnitude can not dangle over the heads of Fresh Yorkers as we strive against off a virus and economic disaster,” de Blasio mentioned in an announcement.

(Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

Back to top button