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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Remote Learning Lowered Test Scores in Every State; Minority Students Hit the Worst
A paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) shows remote learning has had a negative impact on students’ test scores in every state. Not only were students across the country affected, minority students were impacted the most.
According to the publication, remote learning led to declines in test scores for English and math, when compared to scores of students who went to schools with more in-person learning. “Our research shows that test score losses are significantly larger in districts with less in-person learning,” said Emily Oster, professor of economics at Brown University.
“This suggests, yes, that virtual learning was – and is – less effective than in-person learning, at least as measured by school-based testing” added Oster. “Passing rates in math declined by 14.2 percentage points on average; we estimate this decline was 10.1 percentage points smaller for districts fully in-person,” the study found.
The research combined “district-level schooling mode data from the 2020-21 school year,” “district-level test score data from 2015 to 2021” and “demographic data from the NCES,” according to the study.
Data was collected from students in third to eighth grades in 12 states: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Score declines showed variations by state, as well. Virginia “which had the most complete virtual learning time, along with Colorado, saw an almost 32% drop on math test scores in the 2020-21 school year when compared to the 2018-19 school year” reports Tampa Free Press.
Wyoming, however, “which had the most in-person learning, along with Florida, saw just a 2.3% drop in English, the study found.”
“Changes in English Language Arts (ELA) were smaller than math scores overall, but drops in scores were greater in districts with larger black and Hispanic populations and students eligible for free and reduced lunch prices” reports Tampa Free Press.
“Districts that have a larger share of black and Hispanic students and less in-person schooling also saw a greater decline in ELA test scores than those with more in-person schooling. “
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