Cuomo under pressure to quit as third woman alleges harassment

Carla Harmon
March 3, 2021

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, on Monday offered Democrats advice after a third woman came forward with sexual harassment allegations against Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of NY.

On Monday evening, the New York Times published an account from Anna Ruch that alleged Cuomo placed his hands on her bare lower back and face during a wedding reception in New York City in September 2019 and "asked if he could kiss her".

"Well, here's what I would tell my Democratic colleagues to do: follow the Republican model", Graham told Sean Hannity on Fox News.

U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice of Long Island was one of the highest-profile New York Democrats to call for Mr. Cuomo to step down.

The Democrat Governor, who shot to global fame during his daily briefings at the height of the coronavirus spread in his state in early 2020, faces calls for him to resign following earlier allegations made by two former aides about sexual harassment in the workplace. Andrew Cuomo to resign after three women accused him of offensive behavior. The matter should be referred to James' office so that she can conduct a transparent, independent and thorough investigation with subpoena power, Gillibrand said.

He bowed to pressure for an independent probe into the misconduct claims, which will be led by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

"I did not expect to get the call.I was asked if I would just meet with the governor and it changed my life", she says.

Assemblyman Billy Jones of Chateaugay Lake is one of the Democrats who has previously voted to revoke Cuomo's powers.

Legislation was passed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to give Cuomo the emergency powers to respond to the pandemic. He denied Boylan's allegations in his statement and said that in Bennett's case, he had meant to act like a mentor.

She said Cuomo commented on her appearance inappropriately, kissed her without her consent at the end of a meeting, and once suggested they play strip poker while aboard his state-owned jet.

The allegations against Cuomo emerged nearly exactly a year after the high-profile sexual assault trial in NY of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein ended in a conviction, and more than three years after the #MeToo movement took hold.

She tweeted Monday about Ruch's experience with the governor, saying, "This doesn't make me feel validated". "To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry".

In a statement, the governor said: "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.

Cuomo has denied he physically touched anyone while he apologised if any of his remarks or behaviour was interpreted as flirtatious.

Both the legislature's top leaders, Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, have said they support the attorney general's investigation of Cuomo's workplace conduct.

Katz said the attorney general must investigate whether Cuomo subjected other women to a sexually hostile work environment, and whether anyone in the Cuomo administration enabled his behavior.

Other reports by iNewsToday