New York mayor Bill de Blasio calls for investigation into sexual harassment claims against Governor Cuomo

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David Millward
·2 min read
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Andrew Cuomo - Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Andrew Cuomo - Jacquelyn Martin/AP

New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, has called for an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against the state's governor, Andrew Cuomo.

Mr de Blasio stepped up the pressure on Mr Cuomo after a former aide accused him of forcibly kissing her on the lips and abusing his power as governor to harass her and other women.

The allegations were made by Lindsey Boylan, 36, on Twitter in December and then at greater length in a post she wrote on the website, Medium.

Bill de Blasio - John Minchillo/AP
Bill de Blasio - John Minchillo/AP

Ms Boylan said she resigned after Mr Cuomo stepped in front of her and kissed her on the lips following a meeting at his New York City office in 2018. Ms Boylan said he “abused his power as governor to sexually harass me, just as he had done with so many other women.”

Mr de Blasio described the allegations against fellow Democrat, Mr Cuomo, as disturbing at a press conference on Thursday.

“This is just unacceptable,” Mr de Blasio said. “This kind of behaviour, if it’s true, is just unacceptable for any public servant, for anybody. So we’ve got to get the truth about this."

He added: “When a woman comes forward with these kind of very specific allegations, they have to be taken seriously.”

Lindsey Boylan
Lindsey Boylan

Mr Cuomo has denied the allegations. His spokesman, Cailin Girouard, said: Ms Boylan's claims of inappropriate behaviour are quite simply false."

The harassment claims are a fresh blow to Mr Cuomo, who had been seen as a potential Democratic candidate in 2024.

His reputation, which had been enhanced by his handling of the Covid-19 epidemic, took a severe dent when his administration was accused by his attorney general of undercounting the number of people who had died in state nursing homes by nearly 4000.

Mr de Blasio's intervention over the sexual harassment allegations is just the latest in a series of clashes with Mr Cuomo, especially during the Covid crisis.

The two men were at odds over whether to close schools to contain the pandemic in April and earlier this week Mr de Blasio demanded a full investigation into the governor's handling of the pandemic in the state's nursing homes.