Besieged by accusations of alleged sexual harassment, the Governor of New York would have sought to intimidate those who consider themselves his victims. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Andrew Cuomo called, through current officials, at least six former employees to gather information about one of his accusers.
According to the newspaper, the intimidation calls were made by current administration officials and former aides close to the Governor.
“One caller encouraged them to give reporters any information that would discredit the accuser, Lindsey Boylan, who worked as an economic adviser for the Cuomo Administration between 2015 and 2018,” the WSJ notes.
“I was intimidated and bewildered,” said Ana Liss, a former adviser to the Governor, who received one of the calls and also recently accused Cuomo of inappropriate behavior.
Liss noted that Rich Azzopardi, a top aide to the Governor, was the one who called her to find out if she had received a message from Lindsey Boylan, the first woman to accuse the Governor of alleged sexual harassment.
Azzopardi, for his part, did not deny Ana Liss’ claims, stating that administration officials did indeed “proactively reach out to some former colleagues” to find out if Boylan had communicated with them.
This is not the first time Cuomo officials have been known to make calls that have been described as intimidating. Boylan, one of the plaintiffs, had written on Medium that “loyalists of the governor called around town, asking for me.”
Cuomo impeachment approaches
As new allegations emerge, the political landscape for the Governor, who is now on the verge of facing impeachment for alleged misconduct, becomes more complicated. The allegations range from alleged innuendo to “inappropriate touching” of former female gubernatorial staffers.
The New York State Assembly announced on Thursday, March 11th, the initiation of an investigation into Cuomo, which is considered the first step toward impeaching the governor and effecting an impeachment.
“The Democratic Conference is taking the first step toward impeachment by opening an investigation with full subpoena power to obtain facts and testimony under oath,” said Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Democrat.
More than half of the state’s lawmakers, as well as other local politicians such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, have called for his resignation, especially since a sixth woman accused Cuomo of sexual misconduct and since Albany police received a report from the New York State Executive Chamber involving an incident involving potential criminal activity by Cuomo.
The incident allegedly involved an aide and took place at the Governor’s executive mansion.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating the alleged harassment cases, while the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn are making their respective inquiries related to the nursing home deaths scandal, which also involves Cuomo.