At least two law enforcement agencies confirmed on Thursday that they’re aware of allegations that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo aggressively groped a female aide at his mansion last year.
According to the New York Times, Albany police said New York State Police and Cuomo’s office alerted them to the alleged encounter — which may have risen “to the level of a crime.” An Albany police spokesperson said the accuser has not filed a formal complaint, but they have contacted a lawyer to offer their services to the alleged victim.
Albany Police said this does not mean they have launched a criminal investigation. Police told The Times they were last in contact with state police on Wednesday, a day after the aide’s allegations were made public.
Someone close to the matter previously told the Times Union that Cuomo, 63, inapprorately touched an unidentified female aide at the Executive Mansion, where he lives, while the woman was there for work-related purposes. The woman is reportedly younger than Cuomo and a member of the Executive Chamber staff. The Times Union did not speak with the woman.
A spokesperson for State Police told The New York Times that they contacted Albany police to “to facilitate a contact with the executive chamber” in regard to the alleged incident involving Cuomo.
Further, the governor’s acting counsel, Beth Garvey, confirmed to the news outlet that they have had conversations with State Police Deputy Chief Edward Donohue.
The unidentified aide is believed to be the sixth woman who has accused Cuomo of sexual harassment or misconduct.
Allegations of sexual harassment began mounting in late February when Cuomo’s former aide, Lindsey Boylan, detailed her alleged encounters with the governor in a Medium blog post. She wrote that Cuomo, 63, “abused his power” to sexually harass her and other women in the workplace.
Boylan also recounted an instance in which Cuomo allegedly suggested they play strip poker aboard a private plane in October 2017.
Boylan, who reportedly first encountered Cuomo in January 2016, alleged he would touch her lower back, legs, and arms. Boylan wrote that she resigned in September 2018 because Cuomo’s top aides became hostile towards her for “speaking up for myself.” She said her resignation was also influenced by an instance in which Cuomo kissed her on the lips at his New York City office.
Since Boylan’s blog post was published, five more women, including at least three aides, have come forward and accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. Cuomo has denied inappropriately touching anyone but apologized for behaving in a manner that made his female colleagues uncomfortable.
Earlier this week, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay announced plans to have Cuomo impeached. While Barclay said he has drafted a resolution, he and his fellow Republicans cannot make the Democratic-majority Assembly address the measure.
Cuomo said on Sunday that he would not resign, even as he faces increasing backlash for allegedly sexually harassing multiple female aides and manipulating COVID-19 data to mislead the public about how many people died in nursing homes.
Cuomo called for an independent investigation into the allegations, and New York Attorney General Letitia James appointed former acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim and veteran employment lawyer Anne Clark to lead that investigation.
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[Featured image: Andrew Cuomo/AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool, File]