Cuomo Sexual Harassment Accuser Discusses Zoom With Investigators

A woman who accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment told investigators Monday that she was concerned about talking to her subordinates about the “size of her hand” and “what indicated the large size of her hands.” revealed his lawyer.

The accuser, Cuomo’s former assistant Charlotte Bennett, spent four hours talking via Zoom teleconferencing software with investigators investigating claims by her and several other women that the Democrat sexually harassed them or made inappropriate comments and physical contact. .

The investigation is being overseen by the state attorney general, Letitia James.

Bennett, 25, “detailed his allegations of sexual harassment and provided investigators with more than 120 pages of contemporary records, as well as other examples of documentary evidence, to corroborate his allegations against Governor Cuomo and his senior staff,” said his attorney Debra. Katz said in a statement.

Katz said Bennett gave investigators “detailed information about the sexually hostile work environment the governor fostered in his Manhattan and Albany offices and his deliberate effort to create rivalries and tension among the workers he served.”

“New information that came to light today was the governor’s concern about the size of his hand and what the large size of his hands indicated to Charlotte and other members of his staff,” Katz said.

The attorney said investigators “have moved swiftly and sensitively to get to the heart of these allegations.”

“We remain confident that his investigation will substantiate Charlotte’s allegations of sexual harassment against Governor Cuomo, as well as the fact that his senior staff failed to meet mandatory reporting requirements under the same laws he signed into law,” Katz said.

He also said that “it is imperative” that the investigation focuses not only on Cuomo’s behavior toward women, “but also on the culture of fear, abuse and secrecy that he and his most senior staff cultivated.”

“To that end, we have full confidence in the investigation and investigators. We urge others who have been subjected to inappropriate conduct by the governor, and we know they are out there, to speak up,” Katz said. “And to those who observed the behavior, we urge them to do the same.”

Dozens of Democrats in the New York legislature and in the state congressional delegation, including both US senators, demanded last week that Cuomo step down in the middle of his third term in light of the claims of Bennett and other women.

Cuomo, who also faces a pending impeachment inquiry in the State Assembly, has repeatedly refused to do so. Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Bennett told The New York Times last month that Cuomo, 63, asked him questions last year about his sex life and whether he ever had sex with older men.

At the time, Bennett, who had played high school soccer against one of Cuomo’s daughters, was working for him as an executive assistant and health policy advisor.

“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me and I felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett told the newspaper, describing an incident last June in which Cuomo complained of feeling lonely and asked, “Who did I last hug? “.

Cuomo has said that he never made advances toward Bennett or behaved inappropriately around other women.

On Monday, a new poll from Siena College found that 50% of New York voters said Cuomo shouldn’t resign immediately, while 35% said he should. And 57% of voters said they are satisfied with the way he has handled the allegations.

The governor appeared at a Covid vaccination site on Long Island early Monday, where he was praised by officials. The growing sexual harassment scandal was not mentioned and no questions were allowed from reporters.

On Sunday, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported that Larry Schwartz, a former Cuomo aide who now serves as the state’s Covid-19 vaccination czar, has been calling on state Democratic leaders to support Cuomo even as Talk about immunizations with them.

Last Friday, a county executive’s legal counsel filed a preliminary complaint with the public integrity office of the attorney general’s office about a possible ethics violation by Cuomo’s office, The Times reported.

Several officials who spoke to The Post said they fear retaliation from Cuomo if they speak out against him.

A county official told The Post: “I didn’t feel there was a correlation between the answer I was going to give and my vaccine supply.”

“But I could see how maybe someone else could get that impression,” the official added.

Schwartz, who at one point last year lived in the governor’s mansion, said he did nothing wrong on the calls.

Beth Garvey, acting attorney for the governor, said Monday that “vaccine distribution in New York is based on objective criteria to ensure that it matches eligible populations, ensure fairness and the ability to administer gun shots quickly.”

“To be clear, Larry’s conversations did not mention vaccine distribution; he would never link political support to public health decisions,” Garvey said.

“Distorting Larry’s role or intentions for headlines smears a decades-long civil servant who has done nothing but volunteer around the clock to help New York overcome the COVID pandemic. Any suggestion that Larry acted unethically or otherwise than in the best interest of the New Yorkers he selflessly served is patently untrue. “


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