Investigators in the New York Attorney General’s Office met with Lindsey Boylan, the first woman to publicly accuse New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, for more than three hours over the weekend, a source with direct knowledge of the conversation told CNN on Tuesday.
Boylan, a former aide to Cuomo who alleged that he had tried to kiss her during a meeting in his New York City office in 2018, expects to meet with the investigators again as part of “a broader conversation” on the issues, the source said.
Cuomo has denied “inappropriately touching” anyone and has said he never meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable in response to allegations against him.
According to CNN, Boylan’s interview comes as the embattled governor faces multiple sexual harassment accusations, with investigations into the allegations ramping up in recent days.
Cuomo has defiantly resisted increasing pressure to resign from prominent New York Democrats in light of the weeks-long scandal over allegations of sexual harassment and of a cover-up over the number of Covid-19 deaths in the state’s long-term care facilities, CNN reports.
The media revealed in its report that another accuser, Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old former policy adviser to Cuomo who has also accused him of sexual harassment, spoke with investigators on Monday over Zoom for several hours, according to her attorney, Debra Katz.
CNN stated further that Bennett had told The New York Times in February that she had several uncomfortable encounters with Cuomo, including one incident in which he asked her questions about her sex life during a conversation in his state Capitol office and said he was open to relationships with women in their 20s.
Cuomo denied Bennett’s allegations, saying he “never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.
“Katz told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview Tuesday that the investigation is “moving with speed,” but is still in the early stages.
The investigators with the New York Attorney General’s Office “are skilled” and, in Bennett’s recent interview with them, investigators asked detailed questions, understood the evidence and were sensitive to the issues, Katz said.
The investigation into the sexual harassment allegations is being led by attorneys Joon Kim, a former prosecutor with the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and Anne Clark, an employment discrimination attorney.
The duo was selected by New York Attorney General Letitia James to lead the probe.The night they were appointed, Katz said Tuesday, “I got a call from both investigators that they were ready to go.
“Katz said investigators have heard from more women after the New York attorney general put up a hotline and website seeking information, and that Katz said she didn’t believe Bennett was the first person investigators spoke with, though she did not provide additional detail.As the investigation is underway, the mood inside Cuomo’s executive chamber is “completely demoralized,” a source familiar with the office told CNN Tuesday.
“The feeling there is it’s just a matter of time before the clock runs out,” said the source, meaning that Cuomo could be forced out of office; or that he may not be able to run for a fourth term.In response, Cuomo senior adviser Richard Azzopardi said in a statement that the notion was “greatly exaggerated.”
“There’s a budget to be done in two weeks, the largest vaccination effort is state history to stand up and the continued efforts to successfully fight this once in a century pandemic and that’s what the hard working members of this administration and the state workforce are focused on — period,” Azzopardi said in a statement.