Another woman claimed on Friday that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed her – and this time the accusation is from a current employee.
Alyssa McGrath, a 33-year-old aide in the governor’s office, told the New York Times that Cuomo looked down her shirt, inquired about her marital status, and told her she was beautiful in Italian. Like other former employees who have described a demeaning atmosphere, particularly for women, in the governor’s office, McGrath alleged that the governor regularly commented on her looks, ogled her, and made suggestive remarks.
“He has a way of making you feel very comfortable around him, almost like you’re his friend,” McGrath told the paper. “But then you walk away from the encounter or conversation, in your head going, ‘I can’t believe I just had that interaction with the governor of New York.’”
Another current aide filed a complaint against Cuomo accusing him of groping her breast after she was summoned to the Executive Mansion in late 2020. McGrath said she talked with that aide, who has not spoken publicly about her claim, after it was reported in the Albany Times Union last week.
“She froze when he started doing that stuff to her,” McGrath said. “But who are you going to tell?”
According to McGrath, her coworker said Cuomo told her not to talk to her about the alleged incident, knowing they speak regularly. “He told her specifically not to tell me,” McGrath said.
Following allegations of sexual harassment from multiple women, New York attorney general Letitia James launched an investigation into Cuomo’s conduct and the Assembly Judiciary Committee began an impeachment probe. Federal investigators are also said to be looking into reports that the Cuomo administration undercounted nursing home deaths due to COVID-19.
Cuomo has denied engaging in misconduct, and said he will not resign, even after many elected officials in his own party called on him to step down.
Rita Glavin, a lawyer for Cuomo responded to McGrath’s claims by telling the Times: “the governor has greeted men and women with hugs and a kiss on the cheek, forehead, or hand. Yes, he has posed for photographs with his arm around them. Yes, he uses Italian phrases like ‘ciao bella.’”
She added: “None of this is remarkable, although it may be old-fashioned. He has made clear that he has never made inappropriate advances or inappropriately touched anyone.”