Mayoral candidates call for Governor Cuomo’s resignation after second allegation

Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Photo by Mark Hallum

Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing political backlash from two candidates for New York City mayor after a second allegation of sexual harassment has surfaced; this time, they’re looking for the Queens Boy’s resignation.

The second allegation from former aide Charlotte Bennett broke by the New York Times on Saturday night and comes as state Attorney General Letitia James’ office weighs taking up an investigation at the request of state lawmakers in regard to similar claims from former Empire State Development Chief of Staff Lindsey Boylan.

“Anyone who has experienced sexual harassment in any situation should feel empowered to step forward and know they can share the truth of their experiences without fear or retaliation,” Andrew Yang said. “Albany must show they take all allegations seriously through action. That starts with an aggressive independent investigation and an acknowledgment that harassment has no place in public service.”

The misconduct has not stopped at the sexual harassment allegations, however, with Assemblyman Ron Kim accusing the governor of making political threats against him in regard to statements about the nursing home deaths scandal that erupted earlier in the month.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has long been at odds with Cuomo, has even described the state leader as a bully in a recent press conference.

“I believe Lindsay Boylan [sic] and Charlotte Bennett. The past weeks have shown Governor Cuomo’s gross abuse of power, intimidation of colleagues and truly disturbing accounts of sexual harassment,” Carlos Menchaca said. “Governor Cuomo has lost the public’s trust and brought dishonor to his office and our state. On February 19th I called on Governor Cuomo to resign and I reiterate that call today. Governor Cuomo must resign. I ask my fellow mayoral candidates to join me in having a zero tolerance policy for this abhorrent behavior and calling for Governor Cuomo’s resignation.”

Boylan first came forward with her experience working for Cuomo in December, vaguely describing instances where the governor would make comments on her appearance. Last week, she elaborated in a Medium post that the governor had proposed a game of strip poker on a flight they were on together.

Other top aides who were on the flight have vouched for the the governor stating that the conversation never took place, and a press secretary for Cuomo has also strongly rejected the factual nature of Boylan’s claims.

“These allegations are deeply disturbing. The conduct is abhorrent,” Ray McGuire said. “If these allegations are further substantiated as a result of an immediate independent investigation or otherwise, Governor Cuomo should resign.”

If the AG launches a full investigation into the matter, it will be the second time in February James has shed light on controversies surrounding the governor with her office releasing revelations about nursing home deaths in the early days of the pandemic in which she found that COVID-19 fatalities were underreported by about 50%.

“Earlier this week I stated that I want to see an investigation into the the sexual harassment claim against the Governor,” Kathryn Garcia said. “With this latest allegation, it is now imperative that a fully independent and fully transparent investigation be conducted into the allegations and the workplace environment in Albany. In this moment, we must remember how difficult and terrifying it often is for individuals to come forward with their experiences. We must not only listen, but take allegations seriously and take the appropriate action swiftly.”

One topic of discussion among politicos in recent days has revolved around who would conduct an independent investigation; certainly not the Joint Commission on Public Ethics as its members are appointed to the governor.

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