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Former Cuomo Adviser Details Sexual Harrassment Allegations

Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, provided new details on the New York leader sexually harassing her, including unwanted kissing and touching. “I never planned to share the details of my experience working in the Cuomo administration, but I am doing so now in hopes that it may make it easier for others to speak their own truth,” she tweeted.

In an essay posted on Medium, Boylan shares how Cuomo’s top female staffers “normalized” his abusive behavior and that he constantly sought her out, such as having staffers arrange meetings where he made inappropriate comments. She said he went out of his way to touch her lower back, arms and legs, as well as having his senior staff keep tabs on her whereabouts.

She detailed an incident that took place after her promotion to be Cuomo’s deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser. She said she’d initially turned the job down because she didn’t want to be near him and wrote that she “came into work nauseous every day,” eventually resigning on Sept. 26, 2018.

“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.

She also alleges that Cuomo wanted to play strip poker with her while they were flying home from an October 2017 event in Western New York. She said his press aide was to her right and a state trooper was right behind them when he made the comment, adding that he has created a culture with his administration “where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.”

Boylan posted screenshots of numerous government emails, including one from Dec. 14, 2016, in which Cuomo’s secretary, Stephanie Benton, references a former girlfriend to show she was his type. “He said look up Lisa Shields. You could be sisters. Except you’re the better looking sister,” the email reads.

She wrote that she expects the Governor and his top aides to further disparage her, just as they’ve done with New York Assemblymember Kim, who shared his own bullying experiences and threatening phone calls from the governor.

Melissa DeRosa and other top women around Cuomo are now realizing how insidious his abuse was. DeRosa, Cuomo’s top aide, made the bombshell claims on a virtual call with lawmakers that they hid the total number of nursing home residents killed by COVID-19 from lawmakers and the public. She said they “froze” out of fear of how the numbers would be used against them by former President Trump and the Department of Justice.

Rep. Elise Stefanik has immediately called for Cuomo to resign following Boylan’s sexual harassment allegation and wrote that it is an “inexcusable disgrace” that almost every other elected official in New York State quietly brushed under the rug.

“Sadly, much of the media in the state either ignored this matter or chose to report the sexist character and professional smears of Ms. Boylan by Governor Cuomo’s taxpayer-funded staff. Sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the workplace is not a political issue, it is about right and wrong. Governor Cuomo must immediately resign,” Rep. Stefanik adds.

Cuomo’s office has denied the allegations, saying, “There is simply no truth to these claims.”

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