De Blasio calls for investigation into former aide’s claims against Cuomo
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Thursday called for an independent investigation into new sexual harassment allegations that were leveled against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
The remarks from de Blasio, who is known to have a combative relationship with Cuomo, come a day after a former aide to the governor accused him of kissing her without her consent and making inappropriate remarks while she worked in his office.
“These allegations are really disturbing. Let’s be clear about that, they’re really disturbing. We have to, as New Yorkers, we’ve got to take this seriously. When a woman comes forward with this kind of very specific allegations, they have to be taken seriously,” de Blasio said at a press conference.
“We need a full and independent investigation, I want to emphasize the word ‘independent,’ investigation by some individual or entity that is not compromised, is not dominated by the governor’s office, but an independent investigation,” de Blasio continued. “This kind of behavior, if it’s true, is unacceptable in any public servant, in anybody. So we’ve got to get the truth about this.”
A spokesperson for Cuomo did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill regarding de Blasio’s remarks.
The mayor’s call for an investigation is the latest reaction to the new allegations leveled against Cuomo by Lindsey Boylan, a former staffer who is also a Democratic candidate for Manhattan borough president.
In a Medium post Wednesday, Boylan wrote that Cuomo suggested the two of them “play strip poker” while on a 2017 flight. Boylan also said Cuomo “would go out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs.” She ultimately resigned in 2018 after she says Cuomo kissed her without her consent.
“Telling my truth isn’t about seeking revenge. I was proud to work in the Cuomo Administration. For so long I had looked up to the Governor. But his abusive behavior needs to stop,” she wrote. “I am speaking up because I have the privilege to do so when many others do not. No one should have to be defined or destroyed by this kind of sexual harassment. Nor should they be revictimized if they decide to speak their own truth.”
Cuomo’s office has rejected Boylan’s allegations, saying Wednesday they are “quite simply false.”
The governor also faces a firestorm after it was reported his office withheld data on coronavirus outbreaks in the state’s nursing homes. That controversy has sparked bipartisan rebukes, including an effort by some Democrats to strip him of some emergency powers that were granted to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Updated at 12:08 p.m.