In a thread of tweets that rocked the nation earlier this week, a former aide accused Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of managing a “toxic” work environment and subjecting her to repeated sexual harassment during her term of employment.
Now, the shocking allegations have prompted U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to demand an “independent investigation” into the claims and recommend further action, if necessary.
“This was the way”
According to the Washington Examiner, Stefanik’s remarks on the matter came in the wake of claims from former Cuomo staffer Lindsey Boylan.
The progressive candidate for Manhattan borough president reportedly worked as both deputy secretary of economic development and a special adviser for Cuomo during 2015 and 2018.
“Yes, [Cuomo] sexually harassed me for years,” Boylan wrote Sunday. “Many saw it, and watched. I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years.”
In a subsequent tweet, Boylan indicated that other former staffers have similar stories to tell.
“Not knowing what to expect what’s the most upsetting part aside from knowing that no one would do a damn thing even when they saw it,” she wrote. “No one. And I *know* I am not the only woman.”
“His own stated standards”
The following day, Stefanik also took to Twitter with a thread of her own that not only called for a probe into the allegations, but used Cuomo’s own words against him by highlighting a series of quotes expressing support for women who come forward with such claims, as the Examiner noted.
“I am publicly calling for an independent investigation into the serious allegations of pervasive workplace sexual harassment [and] verbal abuse by Governor Andrew Cuomo,” Stefanik tweeted. “The people of New York deserve a Governor who lives up to his own public statements on sexual harassment.”
As the New York Post noted, Cuomo appointed a special prosecutor to investigate former state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over allegations of domestic assault — an incident Stefanik referenced in her statement on Monday.
The Republican congresswoman went on to assert that “Cuomo should be held to his own stated standards,” citing the Schneiderman investigation in declaring that “a completely independent investigation must exclude all Cuomo appointees and political allies.”
For his part, Cuomo addressed his former aide’s claims during a press briefing on Monday. “I heard about the tweet and what it said about comments that I had made. And it’s not true,” he said, according to the Washington Examiner. “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.”