New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on February 27 called for an independent review following a report of sexual misconduct allegations against him by a second former aide. According to NBC News, Cuomo denied the accusations and said that all of his staff would cooperate with the review, which will be conducted by a retired federal judge that his office chose. The 63-year-old governor called for a “full and thorough outside review” and added that the “situation cannot and should not be resolved in the press”.
The special counsel and senior adviser to Cuomo, Beth Garvey said that former federal judge Barbara Jones would lead an independent review and that all the governor’s staffer has been ordered to cooperate. She further informed that Charlotte Bennett, who said that Cuomo made overtures about having a sexual relationship with her and who left the office back in November, had requested a job transfer and did not mention the allegations during an exit interview. Bennett, on the other hand, has, however, said that she was transferred days after she disclosed the alleged harassment to Cuomo’s chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers.
According to the New York Times, Charlotte Bennett, a former health adviser to Cuomo, alleged that the governor sexually harassed her when she was working with his administration last year. Bennett, 25, said that Cuomo once told her he was open to dating younger women. Cuomo, however, while describing Bennett as a "hardworking and valued member of our team", claimed he never made any advances toward her.
Cuomo said, “Ms. Bennett's initial impression was right: I was trying to be a mentor to her. I never made advances toward Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate”.
Meanwhile, Bennett’s allegations came after Lindsey Boylan, a deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to the governor from 2015 to 2018, tweeted in December that Cuomo sexually harassed her for years. Lindsey Boylan, a mother of a six-year-old daughter, wrote in her blog post that Cuomo abused his power as Governor of New York to sexually harass her, ''just as he had done with so many other women". Boylan has alleged that the governor had given her an unsolicited kiss on the lips, suggested that she play strip poker with him and went out of his way to touch her on her lower back, arms and legs.