Charlotte Bennett advised the newspaper that the governor requested her inappropriate questions on her intercourse life, together with whether or not she had ever had intercourse with older males.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A second former aide has accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, in line with the New York Instances.
The Democratic governor responded Saturday with an announcement saying he by no means made advances towards her and by no means meant to be inappropriate.
Charlotte Bennett was a well being coverage adviser within the Democratic governor’s administration till November. She advised The New York Instances that Cuomo requested her inappropriate questions on her intercourse life, together with whether or not she had ever had intercourse with older males.
Within the article, Bennett says Cuomo harassed her final spring because the coronavirus pandemic consumed the state’s actions in Albany.
One other former aide, Lindsey Boylan, just lately accused Cuomo of subjecting her to undesirable kissing and inappropriate feedback. Cuomo denied these allegations.
Boylan in December accused the governor on Twitter of harassing her. On the time she didn’t go into element and wouldn’t take questions.
That modified earlier this week when she posted an essay on-line and alleged the Governor requested her to play “strip poker” on a airplane journey in October of 2017.
She additionally mentioned Cuomo would touch upon her seems, repeatedly contact her, and kissed her on the lips after a one-on-one assembly.
The Governor’s Workplace did reply to that publish and referred to as her claims quote “merely false.”
Cuomo issued an announcement after Saturday’s article was printed:
“Ms. Bennett was a hardworking and valued member of our workforce throughout COVID. She has each proper to talk out,” he mentioned.
“When she got here to me and opened up about being a sexual assault survivor and the way it formed her and her ongoing efforts to create a corporation that empowered her voice to assist different survivors, I attempted to be supportive and useful. Ms. Bennett’s preliminary impression was proper: I used to be attempting to be a mentor to her. I by no means made advances towards Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to behave in any means that was inappropriate. The very last thing I’d ever have wished was to make her really feel any of the issues which can be being reported.
“This example can’t and shouldn’t be resolved within the press; I consider the easiest way to get to the reality is thru a full and thorough outdoors assessment and I’m directing all state staff to adjust to that effort. I ask all New Yorkers to await the findings of the assessment in order that they know the details earlier than making any judgments. I’ll haven’t any additional remark till the assessment has concluded.”
One other assertion from the governor’s particular counsel and senior advisor, Beth Garvey, mentioned:
“Ms. Bennett’s issues have been handled with sensitivity and respect and in accordance with relevant regulation and coverage.
“The matter was promptly escalated to particular counsel. Ms. Bennett obtained the switch she requested to a place through which she had expressed a long-standing curiosity, and was completely debriefed on the details which didn’t embody a declare of bodily contact or inappropriate sexual conduct. She was consulted relating to the decision and expressed satisfaction and appreciation for the way in which through which it was dealt with.
“The dedication reached primarily based on the knowledge Ms. Bennett offered was that no additional motion was required which was in line with Ms. Bennett’s needs.
“Though on no account required by regulation, the Governor has requested an impartial assessment and all employees will cooperate in that endeavor. Former Federal Decide Barbara Jones will lead the assessment.”
New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul added in an announcement: “Everybody deserves to have their voice heard and brought significantly. I help an impartial assessment.”
New York State Senate Republican chief Rob Ortt referred to as the allegations towards Cuomo “extremely disturbing” in an announcement.