With a sad sexual harassment scandal gaining more publicity, plus allegations that New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration withheld key data on Coronavirus-related nursing home deaths, tall troubles are developing in the highly populated state.
On Wednesday, Cuomo said he was sorry for his actions, but he would not resign. Although he said that he was embarrassed, the governor said he was apologizing but he asked the state’s residents to wait for the facts of the attorney general report before forming opinions.
Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, previously sought to explain that some of his past remarks and questions to staff had been misconstrued, and “may have been insensitive or too personal.”
As of Wednesday, three women had reported sexually charged comments from him.
Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old former aide, said he asked her a series of questionable questions during a private meeting last June.
The turmoil in Albany began in the previous week with Lindsey Boylan who worked in the Cuomo administration from 2015 to 2018. She said the governor suggested that they “play strip poker” and gave her an unsolicited kiss on the lips following a one-on-one meeting in his Manhattan office in 2018.
On March 1, Anna Ruch, a 33-year-old who served in the Obama administration, described an unwanted advance from the governor at a wedding, including touching her bare back, cupping her face and planting an unwanted kiss on the cheek.
Letitia James, a Democrat and the state attorney general, is expected to hire an outside law firm to spearhead a civil investigation into sexual harassment allegations.
Last month, during a private meeting with state lawmakers, the governor’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, admitted to withholding data on the nursing home allegations.
She feared it would be used against the governor by the Trump Justice Department at the time.
There are some potential signs of fatigue in Cuomo’s inner circle. Just before he spoke on Wednesday, Gareth Rhodes, a top Coronavirus adviser, announced that he would leave the governor’s task force.
Politico also reported that a press aide, Will Burns, informed the governor’s office on March 2, that he would leave the executive chamber.
Cuomo has announced he will seek a fourth term next year. That would allow the voters to decide if he is fit to remain in office.