New York City Mayor urges investigation into sexual misconduct claims against Governor Cuomo


© Reuters. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visits the Brooklyn vaccination center

By Gabriella Borter and Peter Szekely

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday called for an independent investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations made against Governor Andrew Cuomo by a former aide to the governor who is now a candidate for president of Manhattan borough .

Lindsey Boylan, who first made the allegations on Twitter in December, wrote a detailed article on Wednesday that was posted on Medium that the governor made several “inappropriate gestures” towards her while serving on behalf of the state government from 2015 to 2018 worked from sending a rose on Valentine’s Day to kissing it on the mouth.

Cuomo denied the allegations in December and denied another rejection on Wednesday. Several attempts to reach Boylan were unsuccessful. Neither Cuomo nor Boylan immediately responded to a request for comment on de Blasio’s advance investigation.

“Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture in his administration where sexual harassment and bullying are so widespread that they are not only tolerated but also expected,” she wrote in the Post on Wednesday, saying that at least two other unnamed people female employees confided to her that Cuomo had acted inappropriately around her but was afraid to speak up.

Reuters has been unable to independently confirm their accounts and allegations.

De Blasio, who has often argued with Cuomo, described Boylan’s allegations on Thursday as “really worrying” and said they should be investigated by a facility outside of Cuomo’s control.

“If a woman makes such specific allegations, they must be taken seriously,” said de Blasio at a press conference. We need a full and independent investigation. I want to emphasize the word independently. ”

It is the second controversy in recent weeks to besiege Cuomo, who rose to national glory for his leadership at the start of the pandemic when New York was the country’s COVID-19 epicenter.

A attorney general report last month questioned the Cuomo government’s handling of the COVID-19 nursing home crisis, claiming the state health department had significantly undercounted the toll and implemented guidelines that may have helped.

Later, a top Cuomo adviser admitted to lawmakers that the government was providing requested data on the COVID-19 death toll among nursing home residents for fear of a politically motivated investigation by the Justice Department under the then-President, the Republican Donald Trump, got delayed.

The nursing home controversy has sparked bipartisan criticism of Cuomo from New York lawmakers, and Queens Democratic MP Ron Kim is leading a call for Cuomo to be ousted. Some Republican members called for Cuomo’s resignation after Boylan’s allegations surfaced Wednesday.

“As we said earlier, Ms. Boylan’s allegations of inappropriate behavior are simply false,” Caitlin Girouard, a Cuomo spokeswoman, said in a statement Wednesday.

Girouard did not address many of Boylan’s claims, but denied her report of an air travel in October 2017 when she claimed Cuomo suggested playing strip poker. Several government officials who were on every flight with Cuomo and Boylan that month said they had not heard such a conversation, according to testimony.

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