Former Aide Accuses Gov. Cuomo Of Sexual Harassment

Former Aide Accuses Gov. Cuomo Of Sexual Harassment

Mona Salama
Mona Salama
|
December 14, 2020

A former adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is accusing the governor of sexual harassment, alleging the behavior occurred for over several years while she was working in his office.

Lindsay Boylan, the former deputy secretary for economic development and a special adviser to Cuomo from 2015 to 2018, dropped the bombshell in a series of tweets, saying the governor frequently “sexually harassed me for years” while asserting that he would also discuss her physical appearance.

“Yes, @NYGovCuomo sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched,” Boylan said in a series of tweets recounting the experience but not naming anyone. “I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation?” 

“Not knowing what to expect what’s the most upsetting part aside from knowing that no one would do a damn thing even when they saw it. No one. And I *know* I am not the only woman,” Boylan continued.

“I’m angry to be put in this situation at all. That because I am a woman, I can work hard my whole life to better myself and help others and yet still fall victim as countless women over generations have. Mostly silently,” Boylan added. “I hate that some men, like @NYGovCuomo abuse their power.”

Boylan did not elaborate on the alleged harassment, posted in a thread about workplace sexual harassment that included her mother’s experiences. She also added that one of her “worst fear is having to talk about and relive this she has plans” while shooting down reporters looking to request further details regarding her claims by saying she has “no interest in talking to journalists.”

“To be clear: I have no interest in talking to journalists. I am about validating the experience of countless women and making sure abuse stops,” she wrote in another tweet.

On Saturday, The Associated Press reported that President-elect Joe Biden is considering Cuomo to join his administration as attorney general, prompting Boylan to warn on Twitter before revealing her bombshell news.

“There are fewer things more scary than giving this man, who exists without ethics, even more control,” Boylan said on Twitter. “I saw how he wielded power for years. He takes advantage of people, including me. I hope ⁦@JoeBiden⁩ & ⁦⁦@KamalaHarris⁩ don’t do this.”

Cuomo spokesperson Caitlin Girouard responded to the claims, giving a one-sentence statement to reporters in denying the allegation claim.

“There is simply no truth to these claims,” Girouard said on Sunday.

Personnel memos written in 2018, obtained by The Associated Press showed that Boylan resigned after being confronted about complaints about her own behavior.

Several women complained to Empire State Development’s human resources department that “Ms. Boyland had behaved in a way towards them that was harassing, belittling, and had yelled and been generally unprofessional,” administration’s ethics officer, Julia Pinover Kupiec wrote in one memo.

Boylan resigned after meeting with Cuomo’s top lawyer, Alphonso David, where she was “counseled” about the complaints.

The former aide failed to unseat House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) during the 2020 Democratic primaries this past June. Boylan lost overwhelmingly by 46 points, garnering 21.9% (16,495 of the votes) to Nadler 67.7% (51,037 of the votes). Boylan is currently mounting a campaign for Manhattan borough president as a Democrat for the 2021 election cycle, making the announcement last month.

She has been a frequent critic of Cuomo and has hinted at the tensions with the governor’s office on social media. Earlier this month, Boylan claimed Cuomo’s office was “beyond toxic,” work environment, in response to a question that asked, “Name the worse job you’ve ever had.” In a series of tweets, Boylan also asserted that there are people who “deathly afraid” of Cuomo.

“Most toxic team environment? Working for @NYGovCuomo,” Boylan wrote in one tweet.

“If people weren’t deathly afraid of him, they’d be saying the same thing and you’d already know the stories,” she added in another tweet.

She charged that she wasn’t the only one who is also alleging been bothered by the governor, adding that she’s seeking therapy to this day “unwrapping” her experiences from her time working in Cuomo’s office.

“Seriously, the messages and texts I receive when I speak the truth about this…it’s a whole book of people who have been harmed,” she tweeted.

“I tried to quit three times before it stuck. I’ve worked hard my whole life. Hustled – fake it till you make it style,” she added in another tweet. “That environment is beyond toxic. I’m still unwrapping it years later in therapy!”

Another former aide to Cuomo recently ripped the governor late last month during a November column in The Nation titled “The Collapse of the Cuomosexual” — the moniker adopted by fans of the New York governor.

In the stinging critique, Alexis Grenell, Cuomo’s deputy director of intergovernmental affairs during the time he was New York’s Attorney General from 2007 to 2010 claimed the Governor is “more about presentation than substance.”

“The Andrew Cuomo New Yorkers know and mostly tolerate, the snarling attack dog who gaslights fellow Democrats and deploys staff to call his female critics ‘f—-g idiots,’ dropped down to Earth last week. It was a hard landing after a long-distance love affair with a fanbase in a galaxy far, far away,”  Grenell wrote. 

“St. Andrew, our savior of the spring, is now milking his 15 minutes of fame for an extra 30,” Grenell added, citing his recently won Emmy Award for his televised conferences during the coronavirus pandemic as being “genuinely depressing” the governor is now being “so eager to be flattered by Ben Stiller.”

Mona Salama

Mona Salama

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