For the first time on Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo admitted that some of his actions with women were “misunderstood as unwanted affairs” and said he would cooperate in a sexual harassment investigation led by the state Attorney General.
The Democratic Party argued in a statement released that it had never improperly touched or suggested anyone, as criticism from within the party increased. But he said he made fun of people for “playfulness” and joked about their personal life.
“I now think that my interactions can be insensitive or too personal, and given my position, some of my comments were to others in a way I didn’t intend. I understand what made me feel. I admit that some of what I said was misunderstood as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent that everyone felt that way, I’m really sorry. “
He commented after the state attorney general demanded that Cuomo empower at least two women working for him to investigate allegations of sexual harassment.
Cuomo’s legal counsel said he supported plans for the governor to appoint an outside lawyer as a special independent deputy prosecutor-general.
Top Democrats throughout the state appeared to have abandoned Cuomo in large numbers as they tried to retain a say in who would investigate the behavior of their workplace.
Democratic Attorney General Letitia James, who is sometimes allied with Cuomo but is elected independently, appeared to have emerged as a consensus option to lead the investigation.
Over the hours of Sunday, she and other major party officials rejected two proposals by the governor that they said could limit the independence of the investigation.
Under his first plan, announced Saturday night, a retired federal judge, Barbara Jones, elected by Cuomo would have reviewed the behavior of his workplace. In a second proposal released Sunday morning to appease legislative leaders, Cuomo is a lawyer who investigates allegations and issues a public report to Judge Janet Diffiore of James and the State Supreme Court of Appeals. Was asked to jointly appoint.
James said neither plan was well underway.
“I don’t accept the governor’s suggestion,” she said. “State administrative law clearly empowers my office to investigate this issue after the Governor provides a referral. I have a deep respect for Attorney General Diffiore, but I He is the officially elected Attorney General and is responsible for carrying out this task in accordance with administrative law. The Governor must provide this referral so that he can conduct an independent investigation under the authority of the summons. “
Many of New York’s most famous names in politics lined up just behind James.
Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins and Speaker Karl Hasty, two top legislature leaders, both said she wanted her to handle the investigation.
Two US Senators in New York, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both said independent investigations were essential.
“These allegations are serious and deeply concerned. At the request of Attorney General James, the issue was raised in her office so that a transparent, independent and thorough investigation could be carried out with the authority of the subpoena. You need to contact us, “said Gillibrand.
“We need an independent review to investigate these claims,” White House spokesman Jen Psaki said. She said President Joe Biden “believes that we should move forward as soon as possible.”
After being made public on Saturday alleging that a second former employee of the Cuomo administration had been harassed, demands for an investigation into Cuomo’s workplace behavior increased.
Charlotte Bennett, a low-level aide to the governor’s administration until November, said he asked inappropriate questions about her sexual life, including whether Cuomo of the New York Times had sex with an older man. She stated and made other comments about the incident.
Her accusations came a few days after another former aide, former Deputy Secretary of Economic Development and Special Advisor to the Governor, Lindsey Boylan, detailed her first allegations of harassment in December. Boylan said Cuomo gave her an unwanted kiss and inappropriate comments about her appearance.
Cuomo, 63, said in a statement Saturday that he intended to be a 25-year-old Bennett mentor. He denied Boylan’s claim.
Anger over allegations of sexual harassment arises in new criticisms of his style of leadership and the actions his administration has taken to protect his reputation as an early leader in the country’s coronavirus pandemic.
Cuomo won praise as a powerful hand in power during the rise of morgues and the crisis of morgues last spring. His book, The American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic, was published in October.
However, in recent weeks, his administration has been criticized for underestimating the dead to blunt the accusations that some of his administration’s policies have worsened the situation at home, and COVID at nursing homes. -19 I was forced to correct the number of deaths.
James fueled some of that criticism by issuing a report that raised questions about whether the Cuomo administration underestimated death.
Cuomo was also criticized after announcing that a state legislature had been politically threatened by Cuomo for commenting on the governor’s coronavirus leadership in the newspaper. Cuomo said his comments were mischaracterized.
Currently, his support is declining rapidly.
“The detailed explanation of sexual harassment by Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett’s Governor Cuomo is very serious and painful to read,” US Congressman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez said on Twitter on Sunday. “We need an independent investigation led by the Attorney General’s office, not the individual chosen by the Governor.”
A group of more than 12 Democratic women in the state legislature said in a statement: “The governor’s proposal to appoint someone who has not been independently elected does not have subpoena authority, nor does the prosecution have sufficient authority.”
Matthews reported from New York City.
New York Governor Cuomo apologizes in the face of allegations of sexual harassment – NBC4 Washington
Source link New York Governor Cuomo apologizes in the face of allegations of sexual harassment – NBC4 Washington