ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Here is a timeline of the recent controversies involving Gov. Andrew Cuomo:
In December 2020, former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan accused the Governor of sexual harassment, saying the behavior lasted “for years.”
“I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks,” Boylan wrote on Twitter. “Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years.”
Months after this, Boylan published an account of the alleged sexual harassment.
In January, the office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James released a report claiming that the number of nursing home deaths related to COVID-19 may have been undercounted by as much as 50 percent.
News 4’s Chris Horvatits went on to ask Gov. Cuomo and New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker the following question:
“Why should it take a report from the Attorney General for the state to release the number of nursing home residents who died in a hospital, which is a number that we’ve been looking for for quite a while?”
Zucker replied, “When they said there was undercounting, that’s just factually inaccurate. Reporting the number of deaths is always the hardest number to report out there, and we wanted to be sure that those numbers were accurate.”
Before the Attorney General’s report had been released, the state had only reported the number of deaths of people who had died while in the facilities.
In response to why it took the time it did to release the nursing home data, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa says the Cuomo administration “froze” over concerns that information would “be used against us.”
“Basically, we froze because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice or what we give to you guys and what we start saying was going to be used against us, and we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” DeRosa said.
Later in the month, another former Cuomo aide accused the Governor of sexually harassing her.
In words published by The New York Times, Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old former health policy advisor, says Cuomo asked her if she was monogamous and if she “had ever been with an older man.”
The day after these allegations came to light, Gov. Cuomo released a statement on the allegations he is facing, saying his words and actions may have been “misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.”
“I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married,” Cuomo said. “I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”
A report from the New York Times says a third woman has accused Gov. Cuomo of inappropriate behavior.
Anna Ruch, who is now 33, says that at a 2019 wedding reception, Cuomo put his hand on her bare lower back, and she removed it. Following this, Ruch claims he said she appeared “aggressive.”
Ruch says Cuomo subsequently asked if he could kiss her and put his hands on her cheeks.
Later in the month, The Washington Post published a story that followed interviews with more than 20 former staffers. Many people have alleged that the Governor created an uncomfortable working environment.
One of those staffers was a former Cuomo aide named Karen Hinton.
Hinton says Cuomo “summoned her to his hotel room and embraced her twice – the second time after she had already pulled away – during an uncomfortable encounter when he led HUD & she was a PR consultant for the agency.”
Ana Liss, a 35-year-old former policy and operations aide to the Governor and current Monroe County employee, spoke with The Wall Street Journal.
She says Cuomo “asked her if she had a boyfriend, called her sweetheart, touched her on her lower back at a reception and once kissed her hand when she rose from her desk.”
According to a report by the Albany Times Union, a sixth woman has made an allegation against Gov. Cuomo. The woman, whose name was not published, says Cuomo inappropriately touched her while she was working at the Governor’s Mansion late last year. The TU says the woman is a member of Cuomo’s executive chamber staff.
The following day, March 10, the Albany paper followed up by revealing the extent of the woman’s allegations: She reportedly alleges Cuomo “reached under her blouse and began to fondle her” while they were alone in the governor’s mansion in late 2020, according to the article. The woman was reportedly asked to the mansion to help Cuomo with a technical issue on his cell phone. Cuomo denied the allegation.