Andrew Cuomo accused of sexual harassment by a former counselor

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Calls for an investigation into the sexual harassment charges against powerful New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo grew on Thursday, echoed by the New York mayor and the Time’s Up sexual assault organization.

A former economic adviser to the Democratic governor, Lindsey Boylan, 36, accused in detail, on a blog, the 63-year-old Democratic governor of having sexually harassed her while working for his administration, from 2015 to 2018.

Now running for Manhattan Borough President Lindsey Boylan says Andrew Cuomo notably forcefully kissed her on the mouth, suggested she play with him at the strip poker and “stepped up efforts to touch his back, arms, legs.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

“The governor has created a culture within his administration where harassment and intimidation is so prevalent that it is not only tolerated, but expected,” she wrote.

“We need a full and independent investigation, these are serious accusations,” Democratic Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio, whose notoriously difficult relationship with the governor based in the state capital, Albany, said on Thursday.

“We must know the truth, the truth as established by an investigator or an investigating entity […] who does not have the feeling that she is not authorized to seek the truth, ”he added, thus joining the requests for inquiries from state parliamentarians, Republicans, but also Democrats.

The Time’s Up association, born in the wake of the #MeToo movement to protect women against harassment and sexual assault at work, has also joined the movement.

“The accusations of inappropriate behavior are deeply troubling and call for a response. We ask the Cuomo administration to conduct a full and independent investigation immediately, ”its president, Tina Tchen, said on the organization’s website on Thursday.

The governor did not respond directly to the blog post. The day before, his spokesperson had described the allegations as “simply false” in a statement.

The relaunch of these accusations comes at the wrong time for Mr. Cuomo, in power for 10 years and whose mandate expires at the end of 2022. Very popular at the start of the pandemic, he is now criticized from all sides.

He is notably accused of having minimized, even concealed, the number of deaths from COVID-19 in retirement homes in this state of some 20 million inhabitants. A preliminary investigation has been opened by New York federal prosecutors.

He is also in the hot seat for his behavior considered sometimes brutal, after a parliamentarian, Ron Kim, indicated that the governor had threatened to “destroy” him for having denounced his management of retirement homes.