cuomo allegations

The Controversies Battering Gov. Andrew Cuomo: A Timeline of Events

The governor faces issues on three fronts -- alleged verbal harassment of lawmakers, alleged sexual harassment of staffers and a federal probe into his administration's handling of COVID in nursing homes

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces calls to resign from members of his own party, demands for an investigation by the state's attorney general, and a federal probe of his administration -- a stunning turn for someone who not long ago was viewed as a frontrunner for the presidency in 2024.

What follows is a timeline of recent events ensnaring the governor:

2020

December:
13: A former Cuomo aide, Lindsey Boylan, accuses the governor of harassment. Cuomo denies her claims in full.

2021

January:
28: New York Attorney General Letitia James releases a scathing report saying that the state may have undercounted COVID-related nursing home deaths by thousands, and suggesting that Cuomo's policies on returning COVID patients to nursing homes may have exacerbated the problem.

February:
13: Comments emerge by a top aide to Cuomo, who allegedly told lawmakers the state "froze" on releasing data about COVID deaths in nursing homes because it feared the data would be used for a possible probe by Trump's Department of Justice.
16: Cuomo admits mistakes in how the state handled death data in nursing homes but does not apologize.
17: Queens Assemblymember Ron Kim claims Cuomo threatened him in a raging phone call over Kim's comments about Cuomo's handling of COVID deaths in nursing homes. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio later calls such threats "classic Cuomo."
18: Sources tell News 4 that the FBI and the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's Office have opened a probe into how the Cuomo administration handled nursing home data.
23: A Marist Poll shows a nearly 20-point drop in Cuomo's approval rating, and a majority of voters say the state should elect a new governor next year.
24: The former aide, Boylan, accuses Cuomo of kissing her against her will and making inappropriate remarks. Cuomo vehemently denies the claim.
27: A second aide, Charlotte Bennett, accuses Cuomo of sexual harassment. The governor names a former federal judge, Barbara Jones, to conduct a review. Leaders of the state Senate and Assembly demand an independent probe instead. At least two Democrats in the legislature call for Cuomo to resign.
28: More legislators call on Cuomo to resign. Influential Democrats in Congress demand an independent probe. Cuomo partially bows to a backlash over Jones' appointment and instead asks Attorney General Tish James and Chief Judge Janet DiFiore to jointly pick a lawyer to conduct a review. Hours later, as the backlash deepens, Cuomo changes course again and accedes to James' demand for a formal referral to create a special counsel with subpoena power. Cuomo, in a Sunday night statement, says he's "truly sorry" if anything he said was construed as "unwanted flirtation" - but he denies inappropriate touching.


March:
1: Another woman comes forward with accusations against Cuomo, this time from a 2019 wedding. Anna Ruch tells the New York Times that the governor touched the small of her exposed back and asked if he could kiss her within moments of meeting. The State Senate's deputy majority leader, Michael Gianaris, says it's an "open question" whether Cuomo can remain in office. De Blasio tells reporters "I think more truth will come out" as he again questions Cuomo's alleged behavior. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refers to the "serious and credible" charges against the governor and reiterates the need for an independent probe. Prominent defense attorney Elkan Abramowitz confirms he is representing Cuomo and top aides in the federal nursing home probe.
2: The list of elected Democrats calling for Cuomo to resign rises to at least 17. The Working Families Party, on whose ballot line Cuomo won three gubernatorial elections, calls for him to resign. The state Democratic Committee's youth organization, defying the committee's own chairman, also calls on him to resign. A new Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll partly conducted after Boylan's sexual harassment claim finds Cuomo's national net favorability rating is now -11 percent, a 22-point decline. The wife of key Cuomo aide Gareth Rhodes -- whose wedding Cuomo officiated -- takes to Instagram to say "this pattern of behavior is completely unacceptable."
3: The chairman of the state Senate's investigations committee becomes at least the 20th elected Democrat to call on Cuomo to resign. A new poll conducted after Cuomo's apology finds voters are evenly split on whether the governor should step down. The governor apologized again and said he will not resign. “The facts will come out” in the attorney general's investigation, he said, reiterating his position that he “never knew at the time” that he was making anyone feel uncomfortable.
4: Charlotte Bennett, Cuomo's second accuser, gives her first TV interview and describes being terrified by the governor. State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, reacting to the interview, says if there are any more accusations against Cuomo, he should resign. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal report that top Cuomo aides with no public health experience rewrote a Health Department report in July 2020 to remove data that showed COVID nursing home deaths were much higher than the state acknowledged. A Quinnipiac poll of NY voters conducted March 2-3 finds 55 percent do not want Cuomo to resign -- but 59 percent don't want him to run for a fourth term in 2022 either.
5: The New York legislature approved a bill to strip the governor of his pandemic-linked emergency powers. Republican critics have argued the "bogus bill" doesn't go far enough. The bill now goes to Cuomo's desk for him to sign; he has stated previously that he supports the legislation. The attorney general sent the governor's office a notice to preserve records related to the ongoing sexual harassment investigation.
6: Two former aides, one from his time as HUD Secretary and one from the governor's office, accuse Cuomo of inappropriate physical contact, bringing the number of harassment accusations against him to five. Cuomo's office dismisses reports of a "toxic culture" on his team, saying he demands excellence from his staff.
7: The top Democrats in the state legislature questioned Cuomo's ability to lead, hours after he delivered another staunch refusal step down from his post. State Senator Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins urged the governor to resign, saying that the scandals roiling Cuomo's administration are hindering the function of government. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he agrees with Stewart-Cousins "regarding the Governor's ability to continue to lead this state," but stopped short of calling for his resignation. The Albany Times-Union reports the state made little effort to investigate an alleged safety cover-up in the construction of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, opening a new front in the governor's woes and spurring calls for an investigation.

8: New York Attorney General Letitia James names two high-profile attorneys to investigate and document findings into the allegations of sexual harassment. Former acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim and and employment discrimination attorney Anne L. Clark will lead the investigations. A group of 21 female Assembly Democrats jointly issue a letter calling for the attorney general to be given the time to complete her probe.
9: A sixth woman, an Executive Chamber staffer, comes forward with allegations that Cuomo touched her inappropriately at the governor's mansion in 2020, the Albany Times-Union reports. Richard Gottfried, the longest-serving member of the state legislature, calls on Cuomo to resign.
10: Details of the alleged closed-door encounter between Cuomo and a staffer at the governor's mansion surface in a story in the Times Union of Albany. In the most serious allegation to come to light, the unnamed aide alleges she was alone with Cuomo in late 2020 when he reached under her shirt and fondled her. Cuomo says the details of the story are "gut-wrenching" and denies the allegation, saying "I have never done anything like this."
11: New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie authorizes a committee to launch an impeachment investigation into Gov. Cuomo. The Assembly Judiciary Committee will have subpoena power, conduct interviews and review documents. That follows a group of 59 Democrat Assembly and Senate members jointly calling on Cuomo to resign. Multiple members of the Assembly chart a potentially new path in the response to the scandal, calling on Cuomo to temporarily step aside and let Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul serve as acting governor to negotiate the next budget. The entire Senate Republican conference jointly calls on Cuomo to resign.
12: Almost all of New York's congressional delegation, including Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, call on Cuomo to resign. The number of state senators calling on Cuomo to step aside rises to 52 -- enough to convict him in an impeachment trial. New York magazine reports two new accusations against the governor, including a young woman who Cuomo allegedly grabbed at a fundraiser, and a reporter who alleges Cuomo frequently put his hands on her. The New York Times cites interviews with 35 people who describe Cuomo's office as toxic, including three people who claim they were denied promotions because they did not dress how he allegedly liked. A defiant Cuomo insists he won't bow to "cancel culture" and won't resign.
14: President Biden, in his first public comments on the Cuomo situation, says there's an investigation pending and people should wait for the results. A new controversy erupts, as multiple outlets report that Cuomo's vaccine czar called county executives to gauge their loyalty to the governor, prompting at least one to reportedly raise the matter with the attorney general's office.

15: Attorneys for both Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett confirm their clients have already been interviewed at length by investigators for the special deputy AGs, less than a week after they were appointed. The White House says reports Cuomo's vaccine czar called county executives on Cuomo's political behalf are "inappropriate" and "concerning."
16: President Biden tells ABC that Cuomo should resign if the AG's investigation substantiates any of the claims against him. The president also says he believes Cuomo will likely face criminal prosecution. Assembly Speaker Heastie says the Assembly is poised to hire a law firm to conduct its impeachment probe. The New York Times reports an organized effort on the part of Cuomo allies to discredit Lindsey Boylan in late 2020 after she first accused the governor of harassment.
17: The state Assembly hires the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell to run its impeachment probe -- including a partner, Greg Andres, who was part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team and put former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in prison. Lindsey Boylan says she won't cooperate with the "sham" Assembly investigation, and Charlotte Bennett's attorney says the choice of law firm gives her "pause" because of the firm's ties to Cuomo allies. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, echoing Biden, says there will be "zero tolerance" if the probe into Cuomo finds any wrongdoing. Cuomo holds a call with reporters but refuses to answer questions about the probe and says he won't resign.
18: A former AP reporter says Cuomo flirted with her when he was attorney general and she covered his office. "To be clear, Andrew Cuomo never touched me inappropriately or said anything that I felt I could report to my boss. He did make me uncomfortable, as did a lot of men in Albany," Valerie Bauman tweeted. A third Cuomo accuser, Ana Liss, meets with investigators in the attorney general's probe.
19: NBC New York obtains audio of a conversation between Cuomo and Working Families Party founder Bill Lipton in which Cuomo threatens to compare Lipton to a child rapist. (Cuomo's office had previously denied he ever made the comment.) Later, the New York Times reports that Alyssa McGrath — the first Cuomo aide to make allegations and be named publicly — accused the governor of "ogling her body, remarking on her looks, and making suggestive comments to her and another woman in his office." McGrath did not accuse Cuomo of making inappropriate contact, but described exchanges with the governor that she described as sexual harassment.

25: A report by the Times Union of Albany says Cuomo had members of his family get prioritized, special access to COVID testing during the early stages of the pandemic last year. The report states that the governor's brother, mother and at least one of his sisters were among those who were tested by top Health Department officials, as well as other powerful officials like the heads of the MTA and Port Authority and their respective wives. Some were tested several times, the newspaper reported.

29: A married woman living in upstate New York accuses Cuomo of forcibly kissing her cheeks in an "overtly sexual" nature while touring flood damage in her neighborhood outside Rochester in May 2017. Sherry Vill, a married mother of three and ninth woman to allege misconduct by the governor, claims the governor assaulted her when he "forcibly" kissed both of her cheeks after entering her home, and called her "beautiful." She is not calling for him to resign, instead saying she wants Attorney General Letitia James' investigation to be completed.

April:
1: A government watchdog group claims the Cuomo team illegally used campaign money to promote and sell his new book "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic" — money which would go to Cuomo personally. In its complaint, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington showed past emails and social media posts where the Cuomo camp touted the book and asked people to buy copies. They are now calling for New York’s Board of Elections to immediately investigate.
7: Adding new details to the most serious accusation against Cuomo, the aide who accused him of groping her at the governor's mansion says in her first public interview it was a frightening physical encounter in which the governor slammed a door and said “I don’t care” when she warned someone might see what he was doing. She said that Cuomo had been inappropriately hugging and flirting with her for years, grooming her with tight hugs and kisses on the cheek, but said this particular incident went even further. The governor reached under her blouse and his hand was grasping one of her breasts over her bra, according to the woman.

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