Updated: February 27, 2021 07:43 AM
Created: February 26, 2021 10:48 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo was already under fire for withholding nursing home COVID-19 death data from lawmakers and the press. Now he is facing mounting pressure over sexual harassment allegations by a former staffer, Lindsey Boylan.
Several Republicans and Democrats have called for an independent investigation.
Boylan has accused Cuomo of kissing her among other things.
Freshman State Sen. Jeremy Cooney (D, 56) says he's deeply troubled by what's he's heard so far and says every victim has to be heard.
"We want to make sure that New York State is a safe place to work, and whether you are accusing a supervisor or the governor of New York, everyone deserves their right to be heard, and to be taken seriously," Cooney said.
Besides allegedly kissing Boylan, Cuomo is accused of suggesting they play strip poker. State Assemblymember Harry Bronson (D, 131) released a statement saying in part, "As a former employee rights attorney, I have represented far too many women who have been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. These claims always need to be taken seriously and women need to be supported as they bring allegations forward. All allegations of sexual harassment must be given a thorough and independent investigation."
State Sen. Samra Brouk (D, 55) agreed in her written statement, "The allegations of sexual harassment against Gov. Cuomo are abhorrent. I believe survivors, and I admire their courage to speak out against unjust situations."
NBC's Meet The Press Moderator Chuck Todd says Cuomo's seat is more vulnerable than ever as he heads for his fourth run as governor.
"I do think he could survive the primary challenges here. I don't think there's the right Democrat, then taken him down from the nomination if they choose to do that, but he can be very vulnerable to a more moderate Republican like Tom Reed," Todd said.
Cuomo does have his supporters, including Empire State Development Chair Steve Cohen.
"I have never in my time with the governor, former attorney general, private citizen Andrew Cuomo. I have never seen anything of the like of what Ms. Boylan has described. His conduct has always been in my presence with the members of other staff appropriate," Cohen said.
Republican Congressman John Katko (NY-24) said simply, "There is no place in society for this."
Cuomo denies that he did anything inappropriate.
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