New York Attorney General Letitia James will be in charge of leading a sexual harassment investigation against Governor Andrew Cuomo.
James, who recently made it known that the governor “dramatically underestimated” the number of deaths of seniors in nursing homes in the state, will also lead the sexual harassment investigation.
The prosecutor will have subpoena power and may delegate to an outside law firm for “a rigorous and independent investigation.”
Cuomo was accused by his former assistant, Lindsey Boylan, of orchestrating a “pervasive” culture of “sexual harassment and intimidation.”
Boylan’s complaint was joined by Charlotte Bennett, who was an executive assistant and health policy advisor in the Cuomo administration until November.
Bennet alleged that Cuomo allegedly “asked her questions about her sex life” and went so far as to ask her “if she had ever had sex with older men.”
The governor has denied all allegations. However, he apologized and said he was “misunderstood” for being “playful.”
The Democrat maintained that he has never touched anyone inappropriately, but admitted that he had joked with certain people about their personal lives in an attempt to be “playful.”
The governor issued the comments after the state attorney general’s office demanded that Cuomo give him the authority to investigate allegations that he sexually harassed at least two women he worked with.
“At work sometimes I think I’m playing games and I make jokes that I think are funny. Sometimes I tease people in a way that I think is affable,” the governor explained.
“I do it in public and in private. You’ve seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I’ve made fun of people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I don’t mean to offend, and I’m just trying to add a little levity and banter to what is a very serious business,” he said.
The sexual harassment scandal is the second one facing Cuomo, as the governor is also under investigation for knowingly lying about the number of seniors who died in nursing homes after he forced the state’s nursing homes to take in COVID-19 positive patients.
Does Cuomo stand alone?
The governor of New York stops receiving support from his own party. Now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the allegations against Cuomo “credible.”
“The women who have come forward with serious and credible charges against Governor Cuomo deserve to be heard and treated with dignity,” Pelosi said in a statement provided exclusively to Fox News.
Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio also called for independent investigations following the second sexual harassment allegation which he called “disturbing.”
“Two fully independent investigations into nursing home deaths and disturbing allegations of personal misconduct should be conducted immediately,” the mayor said. “Precedence shows that the governor’s investigations should be completely independent of his office,” he pointed out.
Lawmakers from both the Democratic and Republican parties are pushing to curb Cuomo’s emergency legislative powers and have even raised the possibility of impeachment against the governor.