New York’s Attorney General is moving forward with an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment made against Governor Andrew Cuomo.
This, as the Governor’s office sent a referral letter to A.G. Letitia James Monday afternoon. She now has the authority to select an independent law firm to review the allegations.
According to a reporting from the New York Times, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennet is the second former aide to come forward about being sexually harassed by Governor Cuomo.
At first, the Administration was going to appoint its own investigator, but that didn’t sit well with lawmakers.
“We have to have transparency in this. That’s why my colleagues and I were so upset yesterday morning when it appeared the governor was going to pick and choose who was going to do this investigation,” said Assembly Member Billy Jones, NY-District 115.
Jones says he and his colleagues called for an independent and thorough investigation.
“In any circumstance, in any work place, we need to make sure that this is not tolerated,” said Jones.
In December, New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik suggested that Cuomo resign in light of workplace harassment allegations made by another former aide. Stefanik stance still has not changed.
On Saturday, she said in a statement:
“It takes bravery and courage for victims to come forward with their horrific experiences facing sexual harassment, sexual grooming, and sexual abuse from Governor Cuomo. Governor cuomo is a criminal sexual predator and he must immediately resign.”
While Bennet told the New York Times Cuomo had not done anything physical, she says he had asked questions about her sex life and relationships. Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist studies Laurie Essig says is still sexual harassment.
“If a much older boss inappropriately sexualizes the workplace – even if he is not directly demanding sexual favors- he has acted in a harassing manner. He is also acting in a stereotypically masculine way- asserting dominance over subordinates – especially women,” said Essig.
“We need a true and thorough transparent investigation. And that’s what my colleagues and I called for. And now, we’re on that path to getting there,” said Jones.
The Cuomo Administration says after the investigation, the findings will be disclosed in a public report.