New York attorney general to investigate Cuomo following sexual harassment complaints by two former staffers

“All New York State employees have been directed to fully cooperate with this review,” Garvey wrote, including that she can be the purpose of contact for interviews and paperwork from the manager chamber and different related places of work.

James, in a press release launched Monday, stated her workplace would launch a public report on the conclusion of the investigation, which can start after the surface attorneys or legislation agency are retained.

“This is not a responsibility we take lightly as allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously,” James stated in a press release with the letter’s launch.

Initially, Cuomo resisted sending the assessment to James’s workplace, as an alternative suggesting former federal decide Barbara Jones be chosen to take up the problem and pivoting later to suggest the state’s highest-ranking decide, Janet DiFiore, run the inquiry. Those efforts have been shortly overcome by calls for from Cuomo’s fellow Democrats for an impartial probe.

Former Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett detailed her alleged experience with Cuomo in a New York Times article on Saturday, saying the third-term governor harassed her final spring in the course of the peak of the state’s coronavirus response. The 25-year-old informed the Times that Cuomo, 63, delved into her private life in inappropriate methods and sought her opinion on romantic relationships with older males.

Another accuser, Lindsey Boylan, stated final week in an essay published on Medium that Cuomo made inappropriate gestures and feedback, together with on a flight again from an occasion throughout the state in 2017, sought to engineer conferences along with her alone and as soon as kissed her on the mouth at his workplace in New York City.

Both ladies stated they have been uncomfortable and feared repercussions for brushing him off.

In a statement Sunday, Cuomo stated he “never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm” and described his actions as the results of his “playful” nature.

“I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good-natured way,” the assertion learn. “ … 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.”

He added that he “never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody.”

Bennett stated in a press release Monday that Cuomo’s feedback amounted to a refusal “to acknowledge or take responsibility for his predatory behavior.”

Bennett’s attorney, Debra S. Katz, referred to as Cuomo’s conduct “textbook sexual harassment” and stated Cuomo’s personal feedback about his exchanges with workers are proof that “the problem is a systemic one and the Attorney General must investigate whether other women were subjected to a sexually hostile work environment.”

“We are confident that no disinterested investigator who reviews this evidence would adopt the Governor’s self-serving characterization of his behavior as mentorship or, at worst, unwanted flirtation,” Katz added.

The Washington-based civil rights attorney additionally referred to as on James’s workplace to establish anybody in Cuomo’s administration who enabled his conduct.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has a long-running feud with Cuomo, weighed in on the matter at a information briefing Monday, saying Cuomo’s phrases have been “not an apology.” He pointed to Cuomo’s suggestion that his jokes with workers could have been misinterpreted, noting “sexual harassment is not funny.”

Cuomo “just clearly was letting himself off the hook for something that for the women involved sounded pretty terrifying,” the mayor added.

Later, in a CNN interview, DeBlasio stated Cuomo ought to resign if the accusations are true.

“If these allegations, if these charges are proven, there’s just no way he can govern,” he stated.

Since the accusations have been made, Cuomo has prevented public appearances. The revelations adopted controversy over whether or not his workplace purposely underreported nursing house deaths associated to the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Scherer in Washington contributed to this report.

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