By Jack Phillips
New York state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, a Democrat, called on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign following sexual harassment allegations against the Democratic governor.
“As a New Yorker, a legislator, Chair of the Senate Ethics and Internal Governance Committee, and a survivor of sexual abuse, I am calling for Governor Cuomo to resign,” Biaggi, who represents parts of the Bronx and Westchester County, wrote on Twitter on Feb. 27.
The statement came after Lindsey Boylan, a candidate for Manhattan borough president who formerly worked under Cuomo’s administration, said on Feb. 24 that Cuomo had kissed her without her consent and suggested they play “strip poker.” On Feb. 27, reports said that Charlotte Bennett, a former executive assistant and health policy adviser to the governor, also was sexually harassed by Cuomo, including inappropriate questions.
Cuomo’s office has categorically denied both women’s allegations.
In a statement to The New York Times, which first reported on Bennett’s claims, Cuomo said he “never made advances” toward her, adding: “Nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.”
“The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported,” he said in the statement. “Ms. Bennett was a hardworking and valued member of our team during COVID,” the governor said, before adding, “She has every right to speak out.”
However, Biaggi asserted that the allegations against Cuomo suggest that he’s responsible for a “hostile work environment” and “part of a clear pattern of abuse and manipulation by the governor” that makes him “unworthy of holding the highest office in New York.” As a result, an independent investigation into Cuomo’s dealings is needed, she argued, saying that the current investigator was “arranged by the governor’s team” and is a person who has a “work history with Cuomo’s associates.”
Cuomo’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.
In recent weeks, Cuomo—who has been frequently praised in the media and by various celebrities for how his state handled the pandemic—has also come under fire for how his state has handled the CCP virus pandemic, with reports saying his office undercounted or covered up the number of deaths in nursing homes last year. An investigation carried out by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, found that the state may have underreported deaths by as much as 50 percent.
Republicans and a number of Democrats in the state have called on Cuomo to resign over the nursing home deaths. Some Republicans in New York have suggested impeachment, while Democrats have proposed stripping Cuomo of his executive power.
Cuomo, for his part, denied any wrongdoing and defended his office’s response.
“The New York State Department of Health fully and publicly reported all COVID deaths in nursing homes and hospitals. They have always been fully reported,” Cuomo said during a news conference. “We paused the state legislature’s request. We voluntarily complied with the [Department of Justice’s] request for information. Two very different things.
“The truth is, everybody did the best they could,” he said. “The truth is, it was the middle of a terrible pandemic. The truth is, COVID attacks older people. The truth is, with all we know, people still die.”
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