A female aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who has accused him of sexual harassment does not want to file an official police report in connection with the alleged incident, according to an attorney representing Cuomo.
The aide, who has not been publicly identified, has accused Cuomo of groping her while at the Executive Mansion in Albany last year, according to a Wednesday report in the Times Union.
On Thursday, The New York Times reported that the Albany Police Department has not received an official complaint from the aide but has been contacted regarding the alleged incident. Steve Smith, an Albany police spokesman, told the paper New York’s state police contacted the department regarding the allegations, and Cuomo’s acting counsel said in a statement shared with Newsweek that a state official alerted police about the alleged incident.
“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. If they decline, the agency has an obligation to reach out themselves and inform the department of the allegation,” said Beth Garvey, whom Cuomo appointed as his acting counsel earlier this week.
“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.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan also said in a statement on Wednesday evening that the unnamed aide had not filed an official police report regarding the alleged incident.
“The act of speaking out after being victimized can be a deeply painful and traumatic experience,” Sheehan said. “The young woman referenced in recent reports has the right to determine who she speaks to regarding her experience and when. The Attorney General has commenced an investigation into previous allegations against the Governor, and I have the utmost confidence in her ability to investigate this latest report.”
Sheehan continued, “At this time no criminal complaint involving this matter has been filed by the victim with the Albany Police Department, but Chief [Eric] Hawkins assured me this evening that APD stands ready to assist any victim who seeks to come forward.”
The Times Union report revealed that the number of women accusing the governor of sexual harassment in recent weeks now totals six. Though Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature have called upon the governor to resign, Cuomo has said he does not intend to do so.
The allegations began picking up steam last month after Lindsey Boylan, one of Cuomo’s former aides, outlined a series of alleged sexual harassment incidents involving the governor in a Medium post. Cuomo denied Boylan’s allegations of inappropriate behavior, which his communications team said were “quite simply false.”
Boylan initially voiced some of her allegations late last year as rumors swirled that Cuomo was under consideration to become the new U.S. attorney general. But her Medium post attracted widespread media coverage, as it gave Cuomo’s office another scandal to contend with, the first being the state’s controversial reporting of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. Five other women—including the unnamed aide in the Times Union report—have accused the governor of sexual harassment in the two weeks since.
In late February, New York Attorney General Letitia James requested an official referral to investigate the mounting allegations against Cuomo, which her office said she received from the executive chamber on March 1. James appointed Joon Kim, the former acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Anne Clark, an employment discrimination attorney, to head the independent investigation.
Garvey said in a February 28 statement that Cuomo’s office wants a “thorough and independent review” of the allegations that is “above reproach and beyond political interference.”
Cuomo’s office will “voluntarily cooperate fully” with the investigation, Garvey said.
Newsweek reached out to the Albany Police Department for comment and will update this article with any response.
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