New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was already reeling from the mounting criticism over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and now, his administration has been rocked by another scandal.
At the heart of the matter is a claim from a former staffer of the governor that he sexually harassed her while she was on his payroll. After more details about the allegation were released this week, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, a New York Republican who has long been a sharp critic of the governor, renewed her demand that Cuomo resign over his alleged misdeeds, the Washington Examiner reported.
“Earned his title”
Lindsey Boylan, a progressive Democrat aiming to serve as Manhattan borough president, first leveled her accusation against Gov. Cuomo as part of a thread of tweets about sexual harassment in the workplace on Dec. 14, 2020.
This week, Boylan provided more details in a Medium post about the pervasive abuse she both experienced and witnessed during her tenure in Cuomo’s administration, the Examiner noted. Boylan also outlined specific incidents of improper behavior, including unwanted touches and even an unsolicited kiss on the lips.
Boylan also reiterated that she knows firsthand she hasn’t been the only victim of Cuomo’s harassment, and lamented that the governor’s bullying tactics, shared by those within his close inner circle, render others too fearful to speak out as she has.
Enter Rep. Stefanik, who in a statement Wednesday declared: “Governor Cuomo has earned his title as Worst Governor in America, and now every New Yorker knows that he is a criminal sexual predator.”
“An inexcusable disgrace”
Stefanik said she was “one of the first and one of the only elected officials in New York State to call for an investigation into Governor Cuomo’s sexual harassment of Ms. Boylan” back in December, noting that it’s “an inexcusable disgrace that almost every other elected official in New York State quietly brushed this serious and credible allegation under the rug.”
“Sadly, much of the media in the state either ignored this matter or chose to report the sexist character and professional smears of Ms. Boylan by Governor Cuomo’s taxpayer-funded staff,” the congresswoman said, referencing the highly politicized #MeToo movement.
“Governor Cuomo must immediately resign. And any elected official who does not immediately call for his resignation is complicit in allowing a sexual predator to continue leading the great state of New York,” Stefanik added.
“Quite simply false”
According to the Examiner, Cuomo’s office has flatly denied Boylan’s allegations and even offered up statements from other staffers ostensibly meant to counter the claims.
“As we said before, Ms. Boylan’s claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false,” the governor’s press secretary reportedly said.
Perhaps notably, Stefanik, for her part, is said to be considering a bid to challenge Cuomo in New York’s 2022 gubernatorial election, when the Democrat will seek a fourth term in office, the Examiner reports.