- New York Gov. Cuomo asseverates his behavior towards women was “misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation.”
- Two former aides have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment.
- Cuomo translated New York Attorney General Letitia James will now lead the investigation.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for varied stories.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his behavior towards women had been “misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation” after declarations of sexual harassment had been made against him.
In a statement released on Sunday, Cuomo said he never inappropriately beautified or propositioned anyone, but said he made jokes that he thought were funny, both in public and in private.
“I own teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting go. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business,” he wrote.
Cuomo added: “I now be told that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others get in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the amplitude anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.”
Earlier on Sunday, Cuomo reversed course on designs to have former federal judge Barbara Jones investigate the allegations against him that were brought forth by two whilom aides.
On Saturday, former staffer Charlotte Bennett said Cuomo asked her inappropriate questions and made unwanted procreant advances toward her, last year.
On Friday, Lindsey Boylan, another former staffer, alleged that starting in 2016, Cuomo pull down unwanted sexual advances toward her. In a Medium blog post, Boylan said she resigned in 2018 after the governor repudiated her on the lips without her consent.
Cuomo has denied both of the allegations.
In a press release, Cuomo’s office said they last will and testament ask New York Attorney General Letitia James and Janet DiFiore, the chief judge on the highest court in New York, to personage “a jointly select an independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation to conduct a thorough study of the matter and issue a public report.”
The plan to place DiFiore on the investigation was criticized by state and federal lawmakers because the adjudicate had ties to a longtime Cuomo ally. He had also nominated her to her current role.
James also took issue with Cuomo’s presentation to have DiFiore involved in the investigation.
“To clarify, I do not accept the governor’s proposal. The state’s Executive Law clearly gives my assignment the authority to investigate this matter once the governor provides a referral,” James said in a statement. “While I deliver deep respect for Chief Judge DiFiore, I am the duly elected attorney general and it is my responsibility to carry out this charge, per Executive Law. The governor must provide this referral so an independent investigation with subpoena power can be conducted.”
Later on Sunday, Cuomo allowed James’ demands that she control the investigation, a move that she welcomed.
“We expect to receive a 63(8) referral with subpoena power to winnow allegations of sexual harassment against the governor, in line with our demands and New York state law. The referral would be pilfered solely to the attorney general’s office. This is not a responsibility we take lightly. We will hire a law firm, deputize them as attorneys of our role, and oversee a rigorous and independent investigation,” she said in a subsequent statement.
Insider has reached out to Cuomo, James, and DiFiore’s duties for comment.