Things continue to worsen for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, embroiled in an alleged sexual harassment scandal. A third woman claims to have been the victim of unwanted advances by the officer.
A woman named Anna Ruch told The New York Times that Cuomo asked to kiss her at a wedding she attended in 2019 and that the governor allegedly placed his hand on her face. Ruch said in an interview that on that occasion she felt “confused, shocked and embarrassed.”
Cuomo, for his part, denies the accusations and claims that he could have been “misunderstood”.
Ruch’s complaint is joined by former aide Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett, who was an executive assistant and health policy advisor in Cuomo’s administration; both accuse the governor of orchestrating a “pervasive” culture of “sexual harassment and intimidation.”
Calls for resignation
Following the scandalous allegations, several lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans have demanded the governor to resign from office. The sexual harassment allegations are also added to the scandal that arose for hiding the actual number of deceased elderly in nursing homes in the state.
“This abuse of power will only continue and further distract from our work at the state Capitol,” added New York legislator Angelo Santabarbara. “I firmly believe that the governor’s resignation would be in the best interest of our state,” he sentenced.
So did Democrat Yuh-Line Niou, who also called for Cuomo’s resignation: “Our governor is a manipulative, controlling, abusive, power-obsessed predator (…) Please resign”.
James, who recently made it known that the governor “dramatically underestimated” the number of deaths of seniors in nursing homes in the state, will have subpoena power and may delegate to an outside law firm for “a rigorous and independent investigation.”
The governor has denied all allegations. However, he apologized and said he was “misunderstood.”
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 that worked with him.
“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 fun to what is a very serious business,” he noted.