ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has referred an accusation that he groped a female aide to the Albany Police Department, but the next steps are unclear, and the woman did not want to report the incident to police.
The New York Times first reported on the administration’s move. The aide said that Cuomo touched her inappropriately while the two were alone in a room in the state’s Executive Mansion.
“As a matter of state policy when allegations of physical contact are made, the agency informs the complainant that they should contact their local police department. If they decline, the agency has an obligation to reach out themselves and inform the department of the allegation," said Cuomo’s special counsel Beth Garvey in a statement. “In this case the person is represented by counsel and when counsel confirmed the client did not want to make a report, the state notified the police department and gave them the attorney’s information.“
A spokesperson for the Albany Police Department did not respond to multiple requests for comment. He told the New York Times that the incident "may have risen to the level of a crime" but that no criminal investigation has been opened.
State Attorney General Tish James has appointed two lawyers to oversee an investigation into Cuomo’s conduct, including any additional allegations of harassment. The attorneys launched a website to gather information on Thursday.
The unnamed female aide says Cuomo summoned her to the state’s Executive Mansion for assistance with his cellphone and then reached under her blouse, according to the Times Union, which first reported the allegation.
The aide is the fourth current or former aide to the governor to accuse him of harassment or inappropriate conduct.
Lindsey Boylan, a former aide, says the governor kissed her while they were alone in his New York City office. She detailed her experience of that and degrading comments by Cuomo in a Medium post several weeks ago.
Charlotte Bennett, who worked as an executive assistant to Cuomo, said the governor asked her about her sexual relationships and if she was open to sex with older men when she worked for him. Ana Liss, who was an Empire State Fellow, told the Wall Street Journal the governor had made inappropriate comments.
Two other women — Anna Ruch, who first met Cuomo at a wedding, and Karen Hinton, a former aide to Cuomo during his time at HUD — have also accused him of inappropriate behavior.
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