New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo can’t seem to catch a break lately. He has spent the last few weeks in the proverbial frying pan – and someone keeps turning up the flame. Amid allegations and criticism over his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak and accusations of covering up deaths related to the virus, the embattled governor is now facing a full-blown sexual harassment scandal.
Cuomo Gets Into #MeToo Trouble
Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide, got a lot of attention last year when she posted a tweet stating that the governor had sexually harassed her when she worked in his administration. Her tweets raised a few eyebrows, but she had not yet given many details about her encounters with Cuomo. All that has now changed.
On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Boylan published a lengthy blog post, spilling the beans on Cuomo’s ongoing inappropriate behavior towards her. She alleges that Cuomo “created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.”
“His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right,” Boylan explained. “He used intimidation to silence his critics. And if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences.”
The former Cuomo aide’s comments concerning bullying and intimidation echo those of others who have worked with the governor. Most recently, New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim made waves when he revealed that the governor called and threatened him for his comments regarding the administration’s attempt to cover up thousands of COVID deaths.
Boylan said she was warned to “be careful around the governor” as she began moving up in his administration. At one point, she was informed by a member of Cuomo’s staff that he had a “crush” on her. She also recalled that Cuomo stated that she resembled one of his former girlfriends. She wrote:
“Stephanie Benton, Director of the Governor’s Offices, told me in an email on December 14, 2016 that the Governor suggested I look up images of Lisa Shields — his rumored former girlfriend — because ‘we could be sisters’ and I was ‘the better looking sister.’ The Governor began calling me ‘Lisa’ in front of colleagues. It was degrading.”
The former Cuomo staffer then stated that she “had complained to friends that the Governor would go out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs,” and that “his senior staff began keeping tabs on my whereabouts.”
In another instance, Boylan alleges that Cuomo kissed her without her consent. “We were in his New York City office on Third Avenue. As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips. I was in shock, but I kept walking,” she writes.
Cuomo Denies The Allegations
As expected, Cuomo’s office denied Boylan’s accusations. In a statement, his press secretary, Caitlin Girouard, declared: “As we said before, Ms. Boylan’s claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false.”
The governor’s office also took issue with one of Boylan’s specific allegations. She said Cuomo suggested they play strip poker during a flight. The Daily Caller reported that “the governor’s office noted that Boylan’s Wednesday Medium post mentioned an October 2017 flight wherein Cuomo allegedly suggested that they play strip poker, but said that no flight took place where Boylan was alone with the governor, a single press aide, and an NYS Trooper, as she had mentioned in her post.”
Boylan’s accusations seem to be the last thing Cuomo needs at this point. His predicament is the political equivalent of the saying “when it rains, it pours.” Right now, many wonder if the New York governor is beginning to drown in a deluge from which he may not emerge.
Last year, it seemed laughable that Cuomo might be held accountable for his corruption and misconduct. The activist media was intent on making Americans love him more than they love apple pie. But it seems that ship has sailed, and the knives are out for the governor. If current events are any indication, the nation could be witnessing the end of Cuomo’s political career.
Read more from Jeff Charles.