On Thursday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called for an investigation into sexual allegations leveled against New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo by a former aide, who had given details of the alleged harassment the previous day.
“These allegations are very disturbing,” de Blasio said at a press conference on Thursday. “When a woman goes public with such specific allegations, we have to take them seriously,” he added.
The mayor, who has had a tense relationship with Cuomo for years and has publicly confronted him on numerous occasions, said an investigation should be conducted by “a person or an entity that is not compromised” or “dominated” by the governor’s office.
De Blasio’s statements come a day after Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide and current candidate for Manhattan Borough President, revealed new details about the alleged harassment she suffered during the four years she worked for the governor, which the defendant has denied.
In a letter published on Medium, Boylan claims that on one occasion in October 2017 the governor proposed to her to play “strip poker,” a variant of the card game in which the loser must remove articles of clothing, and that on another he kissed her on the lips.
Boylan, who went on to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Economic Development before leaving the governor’s office in 2018, claimed last December that the politician had “sexually harassed her for years.”
“A lot of people saw it, and they stared,” she asserted at the time. “I never knew what to expect: would he interrogate me about my work (which was very good) or would he harass me by talking about my looks? Or would it be both in the same conversation? It was like that for years,” she added.
Shortly after Wednesday’s letter was released, the Governor’s Press Secretary, Caitlin Girouard, denied Boylan’s allegations, stressing, “As we said earlier, Ms. Boylan’s allegations of inappropriate behavior (by Cuomo) are simply untrue.”
Boylan claims he wrote Wednesday’s letter in light of allegations by several politicians about Cuomo’s alleged workplace harassment of aides and colleagues, which have put the politician between a rock and a hard place.
He also noted that at least two female colleagues confessed to him that they had gone through situations similar to hers but that they did not dare to report it.