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Ex-aide accuses Cuomo of sexual harassment, Rep. Stefanik calls for governor's resignation

Lindsey Boylan says that Cuomo kissed her on the lips.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in July 2020
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in July 2020
(Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Updated: February 24, 2021 - 4:48pm

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Former Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Special Advisor to the Governor Lindsey Boylan is accusing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, and GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik is calling for Cuomo to resign.

Boylan, who is currently "a Democratic candidate for Manhattan borough president," according to the New York Post, wrote about her experience with Cuomo, alleging that at one point the governor kissed her.

She wrote that the incident occurred "after a one-on-one briefing with the Governor to update him on economic and infrastructure projects. We were in his New York City office on Third Avenue. As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips. I was in shock, but I kept walking," Boylan wrote.

Boylan said that she "joined state government in 2015 as a Vice President at Empire State Development," and "was quickly promoted to Chief of Staff at the state economic development agency." In 2018 she became the Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Special Advisor to the Governor.

Boylan alleged that during a flight in 2017 Cuomo said "Let's play strip poker."

"Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected. His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right. He used intimidation to silence his critics. And if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences," Boylan wrote.

Boylan had publicly accused the governor of sexual harassment on Twitter in December, but the governor denied the veracity of Boylan's allegation.

"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 tweeted in December.

Cuomo press secretary Caitlin Girouard, in a statement on Wednesday, rejected Boylan's allegations against the governor: "As we said before, Ms. Boylan's claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false."

The release also pushes back against Boylan's account about the incident in 2017 on the airplane and provides a statement from four individuals said to have been on flights with Boylan in October 2017. The New York Post said that the four people are current and former aides.

"We were on each of these October flights and this conversation did not happen," the statement form the four individuals says. While flight passenger lists indicate some of the four were present on the flights with Boylan, it does not appear that all four were present with Boylan on every flight.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is calling for the governor's resignation.

"Sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the workplace is not a political issue, it is about right and wrong. Governor Cuomo must immediately resign. And any elected official who does not immediately call for his resignation is complicit in allowing a sexual predator to continue leading the great state of New York," Stefanik said in a statement.

 

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