New York state Attorney General Letitia James, who in January launched a report that claimed Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s administration dramatically undercounted COVID-19 nursing residence deaths within the state, may have full control over the sexual harassment inquiry that threatens his administration.
James stated Sunday that she anticipated to be granted a referral that would give her workplace subpoena energy and permit her to deputize an outdoor regulation agency for “a rigorous and independent investigation.”
Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, each Democrats from New York, known as for investigative energy to be granted to James “so that she can conduct a transparent and thorough investigation with subpoena power.”
The Democrat & Chronicle reported that Cuomo—at first—needed to refer the problem to Barbara Jones, a former U.S. district decide, who labored with one in all his former advisers.
After that thought was rejected, the paper reported that Cuomo needed James to work with a decide that he appointed to assist choose an applicable unbiased legal professional to look into the matter.
Over a number of hours Sunday, James and different main social gathering officers rejected two of Cuomo’s proposals for a way an investigation would possibly proceed.
The paper stated by 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the governor agreed to relinquish the ability to James.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated President Joe Biden additionally supported an unbiased overview that “should move forward as quickly as possible.”
Cuomo has been accused by a former aide, Lindsey Boylan, of orchestrating a “pervasive” tradition of “sexual harassment and bullying.” She posted on Medium that Cuomo as soon as urged that they play “strip poker” throughout a flight in October 2017 and stated he as soon as kissed her on the lips.
Boylan, a Democrat operating for Manhattan borough president, stated that throughout her greater than three years within the Democrat’s administration, Cuomo “would go out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs.”
Charlotte Bennett, who’s described by The New York Times as “an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration until she left in November,” alleges that Cuomo “asked her questions about her sex life, whether she was monogamous in her relationships and if she had ever had sex with older men.”
Cuomo’s workplace denied Boylan’s allegations. He stated he by no means made advances towards Bennett “nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate. The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported.”
Cuomo issued a press release on Sunday to handle the sexual harassment allegations, however even the assertion was criticized as tone-deaf by critics.
“At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good-natured way,” the governor defined. “I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”
Cuomo continued, “I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.”
James stated final month that nursing residence COVID-19 deaths in Neew York had been undercounted by as a lot as 50%, prompting requires Cuomo to seem earlier than the House Oversight Committee. A spokesman for Cuomo slammed the request as “empty political theater.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Joesph A. Wulfshon and the Associated Press contributed to this report