A second former aide has come ahead with sexual harassment allegations towards New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who responded with an announcement Saturday saying he by no means made advances towards her and by no means supposed to be inappropriate.
Charlotte Bennett, a well being coverage adviser within the Democratic governor’s administration till November, advised The New York Occasions that Cuomo requested her inappropriate questions on her intercourse life, together with whether or not she had ever had intercourse with older males.
One other former aide, Lindsey Boylan, a former deputy secretary for financial growth and particular adviser to the governor, not too long ago accused Cuomo of subjecting her to an undesirable kiss and inappropriate feedback. Cuomo denied the allegations.
Cuomo stated in an announcement Saturday that Bennett was a “hardworking and valued member of our crew throughout COVID” and that “she has each proper to talk out.”
He stated he had supposed to be a mentor for Bennett, who’s 25.
“I by no means made advances towards Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to behave in any method that was inappropriate,” Cuomo’s assertion stated. “The very last thing I might ever have needed was to make her really feel any of the issues which can be being reported.”
Cuomo, nonetheless, stated he had approved an out of doors assessment of Bennett’s allegations.
The governor’s particular counsel, Beth Garvey, stated that assessment could be performed by a former federal choose, Barbara Jones.
“I ask all New Yorkers to await the findings of the assessment in order that they know the info earlier than making any judgements,” Cuomo stated. “I’ll haven’t any additional remark till the assessment has concluded.”
‘Horribly uncomfortable and scared’
Bennett advised the Occasions that her most annoying interplay with Cuomo occurred final June 5 when she was alone with him in his Albany, N.Y., workplace. She stated Cuomo began asking her about her private life, her ideas on romantic relationships, together with whether or not age was an element, and stated he was open to relationships with girls of their 20s.
Bennett stated she additionally dodged a query from Cuomo about hugging by saying she missed hugging her dad and mom. She stated Cuomo by no means touched her.
“I understood that the governor needed to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett advised the Occasions. “And was questioning how I used to be going to get out of it and assumed it was the top of my job.”
Bennett stated she knowledgeable Cuomo’s chief of employees, Jill DesRosiers, concerning the interplay lower than per week later. She stated she was transferred to a different job on the alternative aspect of the Capitol. On the finish of June, she stated she additionally gave an announcement to a particular counsel for Cuomo.
Garvey acknowledged that the grievance had been made and that Bennett had been transferred in consequence to a place by which she had already been .
Bennett advised the newspaper she finally determined to not push for any additional motion by the administration. She stated she preferred her new job and “needed to maneuver on.”
The allegations didn’t end in any motion taken towards Cuomo on the time.
Jones, who will oversee the investigation, was appointed to the bench in 1995 by then-U.S. President Invoice Clinton. As a choose, she struck down a portion of the Defence of Marriage Act denying federal recognition of same-sex marriage in a ruling later upheld by the U.S. Supreme Courtroom.
After retiring, she joined the legislation agency Bracewell LLP, the place her work focuses on company compliance and investigations.
Her arbitration work included a 2014 choice throwing out Ray Rice’s suspension by the NFL for punching his fiance in an elevator in an assault recorded on video.