New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is the latest Democrat to come down hard on Governor Andrew Cuomo. Both individuals have remained at odds with each other over the state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, de Blasio called for an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations made against Cuomo by a former aide, Lindsey Boylan. Boylan accused the governor of inappropriate touching and sexual harassment on Wednesday. She included evidence of her interactions with members of his staff.
Boylan had previously made allegations against the governor in December but declined to elaborate on the matter at the time.
“These allegations are really disturbing. Let’s be clear about that, they’re really disturbing. We have to, as New Yorkers, we got to take this seriously. When a woman comes forward with this kind of very specific allegations, they have to be taken seriously,” de Blasio said at a press conference.
De Blasio specifically called for an independent investigation into the matter, free from possible influence from Cuomo or his administration in the New York state government.
“We need a full and independent investigation, I want to emphasize the word ‘independent,’ investigation by some individual or entity that is not compromised, is not dominated by the governor’s office, but an independent investigation,” de Blasio added. “This kind of behavior, if it’s true, is unacceptable in any public servant, in anybody. So we’ve got to get the truth about this.”
Cuomo’s press secretary Caitlin Girouard denied Boylan’s accusations, claiming they were “quite simply false.” Girouard provided statements from members of the governor’s administration who claim they did not witness an incident that allegedly occurred on a flight in October 2017, when Cuomo allegedly propositioned Boylan to play strip poker with him.
De Blasio’s attack on Cuomo follows his defence of Assemblyman Ron Kim, who alleges that Cuomo verbally abused him on a phone call for allegedly refusing to help the governor cover up the scandal surrounding the administration’s underreporting of COVID deaths in nursing homes.