One of the two women accused by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment on Monday exploded his “predatory behavior” and called on other women to come forward if they have similar complaints about him.
Charlotte Bennett’s request comes when New York Attorney General Letitia James said Cuomo’s office had formally requested an independent investigation into the allegations by Bennett and another former assistant, Lindsey Boylan.
“For all who need to hear, I know I also hold space for you,” Bennett said in a statement. “To the governor’s survivors: I’m here. Lindsey is here.”
“You do not have to say a single word. But if you choose to speak your truth, we will stand by you. I promise.”
Bennett retained a leading labor market advocate, Debra Katz, who said in her own statement that Bennett “will cooperate fully with the Attorney General’s investigation.”
“We are confident that no interested investigator reviewing this evidence will accept the governor’s self-serving characterization of his behavior as a mentorship or, at worst, an unwanted flirtation,” Katz said. “He did not act as a mentor and his remarks were not misunderstood by Ms Bennett.”
“He has his power over her abused for sex. It’s sexual harassment in the textbook.”
James, in a statement on her authority over the investigation, said: “It is not a responsibility we take lightly, as allegations of sexual harassment must always be taken seriously.”
Bennett said in her statement that Cuomo “refused to acknowledge his predatory behavior or take responsibility.”
“As we know, abusers – especially those with tremendous power – are often repeat offenders who manipulate to reduce the allegations, blame victims, deny wrongdoing and escape consequences,” she said.
Bennett noted that “the governor has taken 24 hours and significant setbacks to enable a truly independent investigation”, after she became aware of her allegations in a New York Times article on Saturday.
‘This is not the action of someone who simply feels misunderstood; it is the actions of an individual that he uses his power to avoid justice, ‘Bennett said.
Cuomo only suggested over the weekend that the allegations by Bennett and Boylan be investigated by a former federal judge who had previously worked with the governor’s top adviser.
Cuomo turns up, and his office indicates that James and Chief Justice Judith Kaye, who heads the Supreme Court, are overseeing the investigation.
James refused to share supervision. And the governor’s office, which is facing a growing political backlash from both the allegations and his fraud trying to control the investigation, has agreed to ask the attorney general to handle the investigation.
Bennett said I fully expected to be attacked by those who dispute the honesty or motivation of those who report sexual harassment. I am not deterred by these voices.
She also said that ‘an exhausting decision to come forward. I decided to share my story because I believed I would be supported and believed. That is often not the case. ‘
“Part of my experience was only possible because of past survivors who stood up and told their stories. I hope my story helps other survivors feel they can stand in their truth.”
OilGasJobz requested comments from Cuomo’s office.
A letter of reference from Cuomo’s office to James on Monday granted her request to have the claims investigated by Bennett and Boylan by a private attorney or attorneys delegated by the attorney general.
The letter from Cuomo’s special counsel, Beth Garvey, states that the findings of the investigation “will be made public in a public report.”
The letter also said that the governors’ office “due to the nature of this review” would not approve or send weekly reports, which are normally expected under state law to authorize the attorney general to resign from outside the attorneys for such an investigation.
“All New York State employees have been instructed to cooperate fully in this review,” Garvey wrote in the letter, which James announced.
“I will serve as a contact point for witness interviews or document production for the Executive Chamber and will connect you with appropriate attorneys in any other agency or entity for any documents or witnesses required for the review,” Garvey wrote.
Bennett, 25, told the Times in an article published on Saturday that the 63-year-old Cuomo asked her questions, including whether she had ‘ever been with an older man’, or whether she was monogamous in her relationships. and other personal questions that made. she feels uncomfortable.
Boylan said Cuomo kissed her once without her permission, and jokingly suggested playing strip poker on an official flight.
Cuomo denied the 36-year-old Boylan’s allegations.
But in a statement released Saturday, the governor did not dispute Bennett’s allegations about what he said.
“I never intended to offend or harm anyone. I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are often personal friends as well,” Cuomo said the day.
“At work I sometimes think I’m playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I sometimes bother people in a good way,” the governor said.
“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my point of view, made others feel in ways I never intended. I admit that some of the things I said was misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. “To the extent that someone felt that way, I’m really sorry about it.”
Cuomo also said: “To be clear, I did not touch anyone improperly and I never suggested anyone and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations to which New Yorkers deserve answers.”