A sixth woman, who works as a staffer at the New York State Executive Chamber, has accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) of sexual harassment, the Albany Times Union reported on Tuesday.
The Times Union reported that a supervisor in the Executive Chamber recently became aware that the woman accused Cuomo of inappropriately touching her during an encounter at the governor’s mansion late last year. An official close to the matter told the Times Union that the governor’s office learned of the incident on Monday.
During a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon, Cuomo claimed that he didn’t have knowledge of the latest sexual harassment allegations against him by a former aide.
Cuomo proceeded to deny on the call that he ever touched anyone inappropriately and insisted that he was unaware that his actions didn’t sit well with the accusers.
New York attorney general Letitia James is spearheading an investigation into multiple allegations of inappropriate conduct leveled against Cuomo. The sixth person to come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against the powerful Democratic governor has not filed a formal complaint, according to the Times Union. Other employees in the Executive Chamber reported her allegations to the governor’s counsel. The governor’s office reportedly informed the New York attorney general’s office of the allegations.
Despite mounting sexual harassment accusations and calls to resign from Democratic legislators, Cuomo has repeatedly refused to step down from office.
Cuomo reportedly told New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D), who has called for his resignation, in a private call on Sunday that the state legislature would have to impeach him if they want him gone.
Following his reported call with Stewart-Cousins, Cuomo held a press conference on Sunday reaffirming his refusal to resign.
“I was elected by the people of the state. I wasn’t elected by politicians,” Cuomo said on Sunday. “I’m not going to resign because of allegations.”
The report of a sixth allegation of sexual misconduct against Cuomo comes after four of the New York governor’s former aides and a fifth woman, who described an unwanted advance by Cuomo at a wedding, made similar claims.
Cuomo, whose leadership on New York’s response to the COVID-19 was lauded early on in the pandemic, is also facing backlash amid an inquiry into efforts by the governor’s office to withhold data on nursing home resident deaths.
Crown Publishing Group told the New York Times in an email on Monday that it has ceased promotion his recent book on leadership during the coronavirus pandemic. Gillian Blake of Crown Publishing Group said that there were “no plans” to reprint Cuomo’s book or to reissue it in paperback, citing “the ongoing investigation into N.Y.S. reporting of COVID-related fatalities in nursing homes.”