New York (AP) – Following new allegations of sexual harassment against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, his agency has announced an independent investigation.
New York Attorney General Letitia James and Chief Justice of the State Court of Appeals, Janet DiFiore, have been asked to appoint a politically independent attorney to lead the investigation, Cuomo adviser Beth Garvey said on Sunday. This attorney must publish a report after a thorough assessment. “All employees of the governor’s office will cooperate fully.”
Cuomo came under further pressure after new allegations of sexual harassment became known. A former health adviser in Cuomo’s government accused the now 63-year-old of harassing her during the height of the Corona crisis last spring. “I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and I felt terribly uncomfortable and scared,” said 25-year-old ex-New York Times employee Charlotte Bennett (Saturday).
Democrat Cuomo told the paper that he never intended to behave inappropriately towards Bennett and that he had ordered an independent investigation into the matter. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki called the allegations “serious.” She told CNN on Sunday that Democratic US President Joe Biden backed a quick independent investigation.
A few days ago, a former economic adviser accused the governor of sexually harassing her. Lindsey Boylan (36) accused Cuomo, among other things, of kissing her on the lips without being asked in his office in Manhattan in 2018. Bennett and Boylan have quit their jobs with the Cuomo government.
Boylan wrote on the online platform Medium: “Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and harassment are so ubiquitous that it is not only tolerated but also expected.” Cuomo silenced his critics through intimidation.
Cuomo has been a beacon of hope for many Americans since the start of the corona pandemic in New York nearly a year ago. The Democrat promised to orient his politics based on scientific needs. He presented himself as an alternative to then Republican US President Donald Trump. Cuomo’s crisis management has even earned him a lot of praise, including from the top American immunologist Anthony Fauci. It kept the situation in New York fairly under control after an explosion in the Corona business in the spring of 2020.
Cuomo recently came under pressure from the high death toll in nursing homes. The background to this is that the number of residential deaths in New York has recently been revised up sharply – from 8,500 to more than 15,000. Several media outlets – including the New York Times – reported that state representatives suspect Cuomo is hiding the dimensions. As a result, they intended to limit his powers to issue direct emergency measures. It was also revealed that the federal FBI and investigators in New York State were investigating government practices related to nursing homes.
According to a study, approval ratings for Cuomo have dropped significantly. The Marist Institute announced a few days ago that 49 percent of New Yorkers said the governor was doing well – last July it was 66 percent.