Four women who accused Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment are subpoenaed to testify under oath

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Cuomo Nursing Homes (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Cuomo Nursing Homes (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Four of the women who have accused New York governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment have been subpoenaed to testify as part of the state attorney general's inquiry into the allegations.

The New York Times reported that the subpoenas suggest New York attorney general Letitia James' investigation has moved beyond its initial fact-finding stage, suggesting the results of the inquiry could be available by the end of the summer.

A team of lawyers hired by Ms James issued a flurry of subpoenas, some seeking documents, others summoning the stories of staff members. An individual speaking with The New York Times claimed that some subpoenas were requests for information dating back to 2013.

The storm of subpoenas included four that called a group of women who have accused the governor of misconduct to testify.

Charlotte Bennett, Lindsey Boylan, Ana Liss and a fourth unnamed accuser have all received subpoenas.

Ms Bennett, 25, is a former aide to the governor, and claimed he made sexual advances toward her while they were alone in his office.

Ms Bennett’s claims kicked off Ms James' investigation. Her lawyer, Debra Katz, said she is expected to further testify to her experience sometime in the next two weeks. Ms Bennett previously sat for four hours of preliminary interviews in March and provided the investigation with more than "120 pages of contemporaneous records”.

Ms Boyland was the first woman to accuse Mr Cuomo of misconduct. She said he attempted to kiss her during a meeting in his New York City office in 2018, and shared numerous experiences leading up to it in which she claims the governor overstepped his bounds while trying to gain her attention and affection.

Ms Liss is a former administration official who has accused Mr Cuomo of making her feel uncomfortable. She told The Wall Street Journal that the governor had asked her "if she had a boyfriend", touched her on the lower back, kissed her hand when she stood from her desk, and called her "sweetheart”.

The fourth individual, who has not yet been named, accused Mr Cuomo of groping her in the Executive Mansion in Albany.

The subpoenas are being overseen by Joon H Kim, a former federal prosecutor, and Anne L Clark, a well-known employment lawyer.

Ms Clark has focused on piecing together the specifics of the sexual harassment allegations. This includes collecting text messages, emails, pictures and the stories of the accuser's interactions with Mr Cuomo.

Mr Kim is focused on determining whether the governor or his aides broke any laws or have attempted to obstruct the investigation by destroying documents or other potentially damning evidence. He and his staff are also examining whether or not the Cuomo administration followed appropriate procedure in handling the sexual harassment reports.

Mr Cuomo has unwaveringly and repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, claiming the allegations were lies.

Last week he said that making someone "feel uncomfortable" was not harassment.

“If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that is not harassment, that is feeling uncomfortable,” Mr Cuomo said. “I never said anything I believed was inappropriate. I never meant to make you feel that way.”

Despite that, he signed a bill into law in 2019 that says sexual harassment includes unwanted advances or sexually explicit remarks that are "offensive or objectionable to the recipient," or those that "cause the recipient discomfort or humiliation."

Read More

The Independent visits Heathrow ahead of international travel restarting

Cuomo says ‘harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable’ – at odds with New York law he signed

The Latest: Sri Lanka banned travel throughout country