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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DOJ charges eleven pro-life protesters ‘aided and abetted by one another’
Eleven pro-life protesters were charged with violating federal law by the Department of Justice Wednesday for blocking abortion clinics. The individuals, “aided and abetted by one another, used force and physical obstruction to injure, intimidate, and interfere with employees of the clinic and a patient who was seeking reproductive health services” said the DOJ.
According to a summary of the indictment, seven of the demonstrators were charged with conspiracy against rights secured by the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which prohibits obstructing the entrance to an abortion facility. The remaining four were charged with violating the legislation.
Pro-life activist AJ Hurley told Live Action News the FBI raided the home of Chester Gallagher, the organizer of the protest and one of the accused conspirators, on Tuesday with guns drawn. He said Gallagher’s neighbors told him Gallagher was out of state when the FBI showed up and entered his home.
National Review reports that Hurley also told Live Action News that the FBI reportedly recently called a few of the charged individuals to tell them they had arrest warrants and that they must turn themselves in. If convicted, those charged with conspiracy could face up to eleven years in prison and fines up to $250,000, the DOJ confirmed.
National Review writes:
Gallagher allegedly advertised a series of pro-life events on social media for March 2021 in the Nashville area. The indictment claims he and other coordinators recruited participants to travel to the city and erect a blockade, which Gallagher allegedly called a “rescue,” at Carafem Health Center Clinic in Mount Juliet, Tenn., to prevent pregnant women from pursuing abortions.
A livestream of the stand-in shows activists chanting and singing prayer up the stairs to and along the hallway outside the abortion clinic, located in an office complex. Police officers eventually appeared in the video urging them to take their protest outside to the sidewalk.
“This is not allowed guys. Asking you to leave the property or I will call the police,” a security guard can be heard saying. The indictment alleges that the group prevented a patient and an employee from entering the facility. After they refused to leave the premises, the activists were reportedly escorted away to jail by police on misdemeanor trespassing charges. One pro-life activist wroteon March 6, 2021, on Facebook the claim that one “rescuer” was held on $1,000 bail, six, including Gallagher, on $1,500 bail, and two on $2,500 bail.
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