‘To the level of a crime’: Latest Cuomo sexual harassment claim reported to Albany police
Police said on Thursday they have been notified that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) might have been involved in an alleged incident between him and a female aide that may have risen “to the level of a crime.”
It is the latest development in the ongoing sexual harassment saga for the embattled governor, who has been accused of such harassment by at least six women so far, some of whom being current and former members of his administration. Cuomo has repeatedly denied the claims made against him.
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The Albany Police Department (APD) officials on Thursday said they received word from the New York State Police and the governor’s office.
The alleged incident took place at the Executive Mansion between Cuomo and a significantly younger female aide. On Tuesday, The Albany Times Union reported this most recent allegation, in which the woman recently told a supervisor in the executive chamber that Cuomo aggressively groped her late last year at the governor’s mansion, where he resides.
MORE ON CUOMO: Gov. Cuomo reacts to sixth sexual harassment accuser
The Times Union reported that the woman, whose identity the newspaper withheld since she could not be reached for comment, is a member of the executive chamber staff and had been summoned to the mansion to do work, according to an official close to the matter.
Steve Smith, a spokesman for the APD, told The New York Times that the department had not received a formal complaint from the woman, but that it had contacted a lawyer for her.
Smith also noted that this does not mean that the department has opened a criminal investigation, but that it has offered its services to the female aide, “as we would do with any other report or incident,” according to The New York Times.
Albany police officials said they heard from the state police on Wednesday night, per The New York Times, after the publication of the Times Union article.
According to Smith, after state police contacted the APD, the department’s deputy chief of police, Edward Donohue, who oversees the APD’s criminal investigation unit, subsequently spoke to the governor’s acting counsel, Beth Garvey.
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Garvey confirmed in a statement that she reported the allegations and intiated the call, after a lawyer for the alleged victim informed the governor’s office that she did not want to file a report.
“As a matter of state policy, when allegations of physical contact are made, the agency informs the complainant that they should contact their local police department,” Garvey said. “If they decline, the agency has an obligation to reach out themselves and inform the department of the allegation.”
“In this case, the person is represented by counsel and when counsel confirmed the client did not want to make a report, the state notified the police department and gave them the attorney’s information,” the counsel added.
Currently, the accusations made against Cuomo are the subject of an independent investigation launched by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D).
RELATED: NY AG releases report showing COVID-19 nursing home deaths ‘may have been undercounted by as much as 50%’
On top of that, Cuomo’s administration is also in the crosshairs of a federal investigation into reports that his administration withheld number of COVID-related deaths in nursing homes from federal prosecutors, among other alleged things involving the nursing home data. Cuomo and his office have denied that they covered up the numbers.
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For these scandals, a growing bipartisan group of state lawmakers are either calling for the governor’s resignation or his impeachment. Earlier this week, lawmakers began to pave the way for commencing impeachment proceedings.
MORE ON CUOMO: Report: Cuomo advisers altered report on COVID-19 nursing home deaths
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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House GOP: Conservatives Paralyze Legislative Business
Conservatives within the House GOP are taking on party leaders by engaging in an unprecedented blockade, effectively paralyzing the chamber’s legislative business. The standoff began after a typically routine procedural vote failed on Tuesday, prompting conservatives to seize control of the floor.
At the center of the dispute is the debt limit deal struck between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden. Some conservatives feel that the procedures used to pass the deal in the House last week did not align with the agreement they had reached with McCarthy. This agreement granted conservatives more influence over decision-making and the operational procedures involved in moving the bill forward, and they now accuse leadership of violating these commitments.
The tension escalated when Freedom Caucus members and their allies joined forces with Democrats in voting against a rule that would have allowed several bills, including two addressing the Biden administration’s gas stove limitations, to reach the House floor. This marked the first time in two decades that a rules vote had failed.
Representative Matt Gaetz voiced his frustration, expressing concern that the fundamental commitments made to secure McCarthy’s speakership had been disregarded due to the debt limit deal. Gaetz also criticized the punishment meted out to Representative Andrew Clyde for his stance against the rule that allowed the debt limit increase.
According to reports from Fox News, Gaetz said, “I am very aggrieved at the punishment that was delivered to my colleague Andrew Clyde on his bill regarding pistol braces… for him standing with us and the votes we took against the rule that allowed the debt limit to be increased.”
Gaetz pledged to bring the House floor to a grinding halt, anticipating a prolonged shutdown.
“We took down the rule because we’re frustrated at the way this place is operating,” stated Rep. Gaetz. “We’re concerned that the fundamental commitments that allowed Kevin McCarthy to assume the speakership have been violated as a consequence of the debt limit deal,” he added.
The era of the Imperial Speakership is OVER!
I’m done with their failure theater. https://t.co/Ceovz4C03U pic.twitter.com/7jNJpfRz4Z
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) June 6, 2023
The conservatives’ grievances extend beyond the procedural vote, with accusations that McCarthy has deviated from the undisclosed agreement made in January. Specific concessions that the dissident Republicans seek from McCarthy remain undisclosed, but they emphasize the need to restore unity and renegotiate their role within the party.
While McCarthy met with members of the Freedom Caucus, little progress was reported, and it remains uncertain if any votes will take place on the following day. The group insists that the restoration of a fair and inclusive process is essential to rectify the perceived failures of the previous week.
As the GOP leadership grapples with the repercussions of this internal standoff, the Republican majority’s effectiveness hangs in the balance. The path forward hinges on whether leadership is willing to reciprocate and address the concerns of the the dissenting group within the conservative ranks, ultimately determining the future of the party’s legislative agenda.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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