Police officials in Albany, N.Y. said Thursday that they had been informed by the state police and the governor’s office of an incident in which Governor Andrew Cuomo allegedly groped a female aide that may have risen “to the level of a crime.”
The Albany Police Department had not received a complaint from the unnamed woman, but it has reached out to a lawyer for the woman, a police spokesman said.
The spokesman, Steve Smith, said that while the department has not opened a criminal investigation, it has offered its services to the alleged victim, “as we would do with any other report or incident.”
Cuomo’s acting counsel, Beth Garvey, said she had reported the allegations after a lawyer for the female aide declined to file a report, as is standard procedure.
“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 in a statement. “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,” Garvey said.
According to the Albany Times Union, the woman has said the governor inappropriately groped her last year at the Executive Mansion after she had been called to do work as a member of the executive chamber staff.
She had been summoned to the mansion to assist the governor with a “minor technical issue involving his mobile phone” when the staffer found herself alone in the governor’s private residence on the second floor when he “closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her,” a source with direct knowledge of the allegation told the paper.
The source reportedly told the paper that the woman, who is much younger than the 63-year-old governor, told Cuomo to stop and that her “broader allegations include that he frequently engaged in flirtatious behavior with her, and that it was not the only time that he had touched her.”
Cuomo denied the allegations but called the story “gut-wrenching.”
The new accuser is the fifth Cuomo staffer to come forward to accuse the governor of sexual misconduct.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined more than 55 Democratic state legislators on Thursday in calling for Cuomo’s resignation amid concurrent scandals involving the governor’s mishandling of nursing homes during the pandemic and the alleged coverup that followed, as well as the sexual harassment allegations that have been made against him.