De Blasio condemns sexual harassment, doesn’t call for Cuomo to resign

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo holds daily briefing at State Capitol during outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Albany
A second former aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo came forward publicly on Feb. 27, 2021 with claims that the governor sexually harassed her.
REUTERS/Mike Segar

Mayor Bill de Blasio said, this morning in his briefing on Tuesday, March 2, that there needs to be trust in order to govern, but was careful not to directly say that Governor Andrew Cuomo should resign after a third woman has claimed there was inappropriate behavior from the Governor.  

De Blasio said despite the chaos in Albany, he has a lot of faith in the state legislature to pass the budget and protect against cuts to schools and say in land use issues in the city.  The state assembly canceled a session with Cuomo yesterday because of the current scandals.

The first woman to go public about Cuomo’s alleged behavior was his former aide, Lindsey Boylan. Boylan started working in the state office in 2015, and said Cuomo sexually harassed her physically and “bullied” her for years, reported ABCNews. 

Another former aide, Charlotte Bennett, claimed there were similar unwanted advances and interactions with Cuomo. She left the state office last November. And most recently, Anna Ruch, who said that Cuomo put his hands on her face at a wedding in September 2019 and “asked if he could kiss her.” 

Cuomo has either denied aspects of these allegations or said that they were inadvertent and unintentional.

De Blasio said that he was very troubled and thinks sexual harassment is not a laughing matter. 

He also confirmed that he has been through the standard sexual harassment training cycles at city hall with his staff. 

“I don’t feel there’s been any situation that has been any situation that was inappropriate, and look let me be personal about this, I was raised by a single mom,” said de Blasio about his own experiences in the workplace.

He credits the relationships he has with his mother and wife for his “reverence and respect” for women, which is essentially the same answer he gave when asked about Karen Hinton’s op-ed published in The Daily News.

Hinton said de Blasio “practices a different brand of penis politics” than Cuomo, which assumedly is a metaphor for being an unaware misogynist. She said in the op-ed that de Blasio was just as guilty as Cuomo for creating an uncomfortable work environment for women, but did not accuse him of any specific sexually inappropriate behaviors or harassment.  

“The notion of a man taking advantage of his power in his office to intimidate a woman in his employment, or to try and somehow insinuate that she should have sex with him, that’s disgusting to me and it’s unacceptable,” said de Blasio.

He continued that he would never allow it and he can’t think of any “decent human being” who would.

De Blasio then swung back to his assertion that Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes and “tight control” over the health department is a clear sign that one person shouldn’t have all that power. 

“We need freedom to vaccinate, we should not have to go hand to hand in Albany for every little change in the vaccination rules,” said de Blasio. “Give us back local control, that’s how we move forward.”