Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) has called for an independent investigation led by the Attorney General into allegations of sexual misconduct by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Over the weekend, a second woman emerged with sexual misconduct claims against the politician: Former aide Charlotte Bennett, 25, told The New York Times that Cuomo, 63, had often quizzed her about her sex life and asked her if she “had ever been with an older man.” Bennett came forward after former state economic development official Lindsey Boylan said the governor had harassed her on several occasions between 2016 and 2018, including giving her an unsolicited kiss on the lips in his Manhattan office. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Sunday that the claims needed to be investigated. “Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett’s detailed accounts of sexual harassment by Gov. Cuomo are extremely serious and painful to read,” she tweeted. “There must be an independent investigation—not one led by an individual selected by the Governor, but by the office of the Attorney General.” Cuomo has denied the allegations.
On Sunday, Beth Garvey, special counsel and senior advisor to Cuomo, issued a statement after AOC’s public demands. She wrote that Governor’s office “wants a review of the sexual harassment claims made against the Governor to done in a manner beyond reproach.” She then said that while they had selected former Federal Judge Barbara Jones, they had now decided to change their strategy “to avoid even the perception of a lack of independence of interference of politics.” The office has then asked the Attorney General of New York State and the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals to “jointly select an independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation to conduct a thorough review of the matter and issue a public report.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James noted in a statement on Sunday, “Allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously. There must be a truly independent investigation to thoroughly review these troubling allegations against the governor, and I stand ready to oversee that investigation and make any appointments necessary.”