Andrew Cuomo said the sexual harassment claims from a former staffer, who alleged the New York governor ‘abused his power’ for years in a series of tweets over the weekend, are simply ‘not true’.
Lindsey Boylan tweeted that the Democratic governor ‘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,’ she continued.
When first reached for comment, Cuomo’s press secretary Caitlin Girouard said: ‘There is simply no truth to these claims.’
And Cuomo reiterated that statement during a press conference Monday afternoon when a reporter asked about his reaction to the claims on Twitter: ‘I heard about the tweet and what it said about comments that I had made. It’s not true.’
‘Look, I fought for and I believe a woman has the right to come forward and express her opinion and express issues and concerns that she has. But it’s just not true,’ the governor added before moving on to the next question.
Andrew Cuomo (left on Monday) said the sexual harassment claims from former staffer, Lindsey Boylan (right), who alleged the New York governor ‘abused his power’ for years in a series of tweets over the weekend, are simply ‘not true’
Boylan tweeted that the Democratic governor ‘sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched’
Boylan, 36, worked for the Cuomo administration from March 2015 to October 2018, serving first as executive vice president of Empire State Development and then as a special adviser to Cuomo for economic development.
She did not provide details of the alleged harassment and didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Boylan later tweeted, ‘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 warned in her Twitter thread that she knows she is not the only woman who Cuomo has treated this way.
‘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,’ she continued in the six-part tweet. ‘And I *know* I am not the only woman.’
‘I’m angry to be put in this situation at all,’ Boylan wrote. ‘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.’
She concluded: ‘I hate that some men, like @NYGovCuomo abuse their power.’
The latest from Boylan came a week after another Twitter thread where she called Cuomo’s office the ‘most toxic team environment’ she had ever worked in. She also claimed there’s a ‘whole book of people who have been harmed’ by the Democratic governor.
‘Most toxic team environment? Working for @NYGovCuomo,’ Boylan wrote last week.
‘I’ve had many jobs,’ she described in the thread. ‘Waitressing at @Friendlys as a teenager was an infinitely more respectful environment. Even when I had bad customers who tipped poorly. If people weren’t deathly afraid of him, they’d be saying the same thing and you’d already know the stories.’
Boylan is a Democratic candidate for 2021 Manhattan Borough President. The latest claims also come as Cuomo’s name is being floated by Joe Biden as a potential attorney general for his incoming administration.
Boylan said she feels emboldened to come forward about the sexual harassment after ‘promising myself I would never let those kind of guys win’.
‘My first experience of workplace sexual harassment was when my mom got her first real office job after graduating from college when I was in high school. She was so excited to be taken ‘seriously.’ Her bossed isolated her and kissed her. She never had that type of job again,’ she wrote in her Sunday morning Twitter thread.
Boylan (shown above, and right with Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris) warned in her Twitter thread that she knows she is not the only woman who Cuomo has treated this way
Boylan previously worked for Cuomo’s administration from 2015 to 2018, according to her LinkedIn
Earlier this month, Boylan said her former waitressing job at Friendlys was an ‘infinitely more respectful environment’ than Cuomo’s office
Boylan: ‘If people weren’t deathly afraid of him, they’d be saying the same thing and you’d already know the stories’
‘It was then how I learned how hard it is for women,’ she continued. ‘How hard this world can be for us when we are trying to be taken seriously and help our community. How easily jerks can destroy the lives of women.’
‘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,’ Boylan tweeted.
‘I am not stopping. I refuse. I will never give up.’
After her employment at Empire State Development, Boylan then served as deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to Cuomo.
‘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,’ Boylan continued.
Boylan then described Cuomo having a tight-knit group of confidants, and those who weren’t a part of it faced a ‘dispiriting’ work environment.
‘Don’t be surprised that it’s the same small group of white people sitting alongside him at every presser,’ she wrote.
‘The same group that he has had by him the whole time, doing his dirty work. If you’re not one of those handful, your life working for him is endlessly dispiriting.’
Boylan said that she tried to quit her job three times before leaving, calling Cuomo’s office ‘beyond toxic’.
Boylan said she feels emboldened to come forward about the sexual harassment after ‘promising myself I would never let those kind of guys win’
Earlier this year, Boylan ran against Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler in the state’s 10th Congressional District but was defeated.
Boylan: ‘The same group that he has had by him the whole time, doing his dirty work. If you’re not one of those handful, your life working for him is endlessly dispiriting’
Boylan said she tried to quit her position at Cuomo’s office three times before eventually exiting
Boylan was the second former aide of Cuomo who spoke out against the governor in less than two weeks
‘I’ve worked hard my whole life. Hustled – fake it till you make it style. That environment is beyond toxic. I’m still unwrapping it years later in therapy!
‘And I’m a privileged person. I could opt out and eventually did. I shudder to think what happens to others. It pisses me off so much.’
Personnel memos written in 2018, obtained by The Associated Press, indicate that Boylan resigned after she was confronted about complaints about her own office behavior.
Several women complained to Empire State Development’s human resources department and in one memo, the administration’s ethics officer, Julia Pinover Kupiec wrote: ‘Ms. Boylan had behaved in a way towards them that was harassing, belittling, and had yelled and been generally unprofessional.’
Alexis Grenell used to work as Cuomo’s deputy director of intergovernmental affairs when he was New York’s Attorney General
Boylan resigned after meeting with officials including Cuomo’s top lawyer, Alphonso David, to be ‘counseled’ about the complaints.
David said in a follow-up memo that Boylan had contacted him several days later and said she had reconsidered her resignation and wished to return to work, but he discouraged her from doing so.
Earlier this year, Boylan ran against Democratic Rep Jerry Nadler in the state’s 10th Congressional District but was defeated.
Boylan’s Twitter thread comes after another former aide for Cuomo spoke out against the governor.
Alexis Grenell used to work as Cuomo’s deputy director of intergovernmental affairs when he was New York’s Attorney General.
In an article published by The Nation on Friday, she said that while he’d ‘undeniably’ shown good leadership at the start of the year, he has since descended into being snarky and argumentative.
She used his recent outburst at journalists who had asked him if schools would be open the next day as an example, calling it the kind of ‘tantrum’ he was known for throwing before the pandemic turned him into a hero.
‘It all boils down to this: Any dissent is a partisan attack on our very lives, and Andrew Cuomo is our only hope. To solidify the narrative, he’s even written a self-congratulatory book at what he calls ‘half-time’ in the crisis.
‘Kind of like how every coach puts out a press release mid-game and Winston Churchill wrote the history of World War II in 1943. Oh, wait…’
‘Indeed, St Andrew, our savior of the spring, is now milking his 15 minutes of fame for an extra 30.’
People gather outside of the restaurant Mac’s Public House for a rally against state and city mandates to stop indoor dining to control the spread of the coronavirus, in Staten Island, New York
Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned indoor dining in parts of Staten Island that experienced coronavirus case increases, as well as implemented a statewide 10pm curfew
Cuomo in recent weeks has faced backlash over his Covid-19 restrictions, including a statewide 10pm curfew banning on-premises consumption at restaurants.
Eateries were one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic, with many struggling to remain open as the number of customers took a dive and restrictions on occupancy affected revenue.
On Friday, Danny Presti of the shuttered Mac’s Public House on Staten Island said he and the co-owner, Keith McAlarney, were tired of pleading with New York officials for help during the pandemic.
‘We’ve pleaded with them to work with us and other small businesses,’ Presti told Fox News on Friday.
‘At this point…we are losing faith, and kind of lost faith in the ability for our local and city governments to help us.’
Presti decried the indoor dining ban on parts of Staten Island, where cases and hospitalizations have spiked, that forced his business to limit some services.
Dozens of patrons and restaurant owners gathered outside of Mac’s Pub last week to protest Cuomo’s orders.
And Cuomo recently faced criticism after being awarded the International Emmy Founders Award for his ‘masterful use of TV to inform and calm people around the world.’
Some questioned the honor, given New York had the most severe Covid-19 infection rates, and considering some of Cuomo’s decisions, namely the fact that he sent thousands of COVID-19 patients back into nursing homes.
Cuomo’s decision to send elderly COVID-19 patients back into nursing homes was blamed for the deaths of thousands of other elderly New York residents. Cuomo has said nothing about it.