A former top aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has accused him of assaulting her when she served as deputy secretary for economic development in 2018.
Lindsey Boylan first laid allegations on Cuomo in December, but she gave a deeper insight of what transpired with her boss via an essay posted to Medium.
Boylan accused the governor of going “out of his way” to touch her “lower back, arms and legs,” and kissing her during a one-on-one meeting.
Boylan, now a candidate for Manhattan borough president, claimed that the governor took an “uncomfortable” interest in her after she was appointed to the role in 2015.
“My boss soon informed me that the Governor had a ‘crush’ on me, ” she wrote.
“Yes, @NYGovCuomo sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched.
“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? This was the way for years,” Boylan continued.
She added, “And I promised myself I would never let those kind of guys win. I would work hard my whole life to put myself in positions of power to change things. To end the violence & corruption. Give voice to the voiceless,” referring to the determination she made against assaulters while growing.
Cuomo’s Press Secretary, Caitlin Girouard, debunked allegations by the former staffer saying, “Ms. Boylan’s claims of inappropriate behaviour are quite simply false.”
Girouard said Boylan’s recollection of a 2017 flight on the governor’s jet on which she alleged he suggested playing strip poker cannot be true because the flight logs do not match her account of who was on board.
“He was seated facing me, so close our knees almost touched. His press aide was to my right and a state trooper behind us,” Boylan said of the experience.
Girouard, however, said “there was no flight where Lindsey was alone with the Governor, a single press aide, and a NYS Trooper.”
Cuomo’s press secretary shared what she said was the governor’s schedule from October 2017, which lists every passenger on his flights, as well as a statement from other aides on the trips.
“We were on each of these October flights and this conversation did not happen,” senior advisor to the governor John Maggiore, president and CEO of Empire State Development Howard Zemsky, Cuomo’s former director of communications Dani Lever and former press secretary Abbey Fashouer Collins said in a joint statement.
Reacting to Boylan’s essay, New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik called for Cuomo to resign.
She wrote on Twitter, “Sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the workplace is not a political issue, it is about right and wrong. Governor Cuomo must immediately resign. Any elected official who does not immediately call for his resignation is complicit.”