The well seems to sink deeper by the hour for embattled Democrat New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who less than a week ago was accused by a third woman of inappropriate touching and sexual harassment. Doubtless, readers will remember seeing the photo of Cuomo cupping the woman’s face in both hands at an event. But by the end of Tuesday, as RedState reported, the number of accusers had doubled to six.
Now, two new reports seem to serve as a stunning indictment of Cuomo as a manipulative, vindictive tyrant who sought to exact revenge in the workplace on anyone — male or female — whom he considered an unwanted obstacle.
On Tuesday the Washington Post released an exclusive report with details on Gov. Cuomo from the very people who know him best: the employees, subordinates, and others who have worked alongside him for up to thirty years. Some, while not employees, associated with him as a part of their jobs.
The piece, titled “Cuomo’s behavior created ‘hostile, toxic’ workplace culture for decades, former aides say,” explained that the “toxic culture” in Cuomo’s office wasn’t reserved for women:
What Cuomo has touted as an “aggressive” style goes far beyond that behind the scenes, according to more than 20 people who have worked with him from the 1990s to the present. Many former aides and advisers described to The Post a toxic culture in which the governor unleashes searing verbal attacks on subordinates. Some said he seemed to delight in humiliating his employees, particularly in group meetings, and would mock male aides for not being tough enough.
It also included some of the alleged, degrading remarks the men endured from Cuomo, their boss:
Two male aides who worked for Cuomo in the New York governor’s office say he routinely berated them with explicit language, making comments such as calling them “pussies” and saying, “You have no balls.”
As the story notes, numerous employees spoke to the publication only on the condition of anonymity — and for a good reason: (emphasis mine)
The Post reached out to more than 150 former and current Cuomo staffers, stretching back to his time at HUD in Washington. Most did not respond. Among those who did, the majority spoke on the condition of anonymity, because they said they still fear his wrath and his power to destroy careers.
One man, it claimed, quit before Cuomo could get him fired, comparing the situation to feeling like “a freaking speed bump”:
In 2013, Michael Fayette, a state Department of Transportation engineer, gave a few quotes about his department’s operations during Hurricane Irene to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. His statements were innocuous—“We were up for it,” he told the paper—but they hadn’t been cleared by the higher-ups in Albany. The press found out that Fayette’s superiors were moving to terminate him, and started asking how it was possible for someone to be fired over such a harmless episode. In response, a top Cuomo aide gave a radio interview during which he read aloud misconduct allegations contained in Fayette’s personnel files, including that he’d had an improper relationship with a subordinate. “They can run over you like you’re a freaking speed bump,” Fayette, who retired before he could be fired, told me, last week.
Then, the New Yorker published a brand-new piece exposing how the governor implicitly or explicitly allowed a “smear campaign” against his first accuser, Lindsey Boylan, whose allegations came out last December, after a chance topic about “worst jobs” came up in a Facebook group she was in. She wrote more details days later on her Twitter account:
On December 13th, Boylan made her accusation more explicit. “Yes, @NYGovCuomo sexually harassed me for years,” she tweeted. “Many saw it, and watched. I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years.”
According to a statement by her attorney,
….Boylan weighed whether to come forward last year, her lawyer told me, she “believed that she would be retaliated against for going public with her mistreatment.” One former senior official in the Cuomo administration whom I spoke to said it was impossible to imagine that Cuomo himself hadn’t approved the leak of the Boylan documents. “There’s no question he would know about it, and direct it,” the former official said. “That’s how he would think.”
It continued, while trying to parse possible reasons Boylan’s story has been slow-walked by members of the legacy media:
Partly, this can be explained by Boylan’s decision in December not to talk to reporters, and by the fact that she was, at the time, a lone accuser, whereas now she is one of several. But there is another reason: soon after she went public, someone tried to damage Boylan’s credibility and undercut her accusations by leaking damaging information about her to the press.
The WaPo story goes into greater detail, sharing the truly sickening allegation that Cuomo’s minions tried to smear her as a racist.
But one of the more damning revelations came from a time long before Cuomo entered the governor’s office. That accusation of payback stretches back to Cuomo’s time in the late ’90s and early ’00s inside the Clinton White House as Housing and Urban Development Secretary. The New Yorker wrote:
In the nineteen-nineties, while Cuomo was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, under Bill Clinton, he fell into a long-running feud with Susan Gaffney, the agency’s inspector general. In 2000, Gaffney accused Cuomo of sexual discrimination. “Gaffney claims that Cuomo has called her at home on weekends to berate her, has started collecting information to smear her, and has leaked damaging information about her,” the Post reported, at the time. In the same story, a Cuomo spokesperson said, of Gaffney, “This is nothing more than a diversion from her misconduct regarding the downloading of pornography in her office and retaliation for our efforts to get to the bottom of it.”
But Gaffney wasn’t the only employee who had an incident allegedly involving Cuomo while at HUD, according to the New Yorker piece:
Karen Hinton, who worked for Cuomo when he was at hud, and who later served as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press secretary, told me that in 2015, during an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the state, Cuomo didn’t like a statement that she had given to the Times. He called one of de Blasio’s deputy mayors and said that if Hinton wasn’t fired he would blame de Blasio “personally” for the deaths in New York City. “When I left the Mayor’s office, there was no Democratic-owned public-relations firm that would hire me,” Hinton, who left the de Blasio administration in 2016, told me. “Because of Andrew.”
It’s worth pointing out that Hinton’s story is independently reported in the Washington Post piece, which provides illuminating details of the unwanted contact:
A former press aide of Andrew M. Cuomo says he summoned her to his dimly lit hotel room and embraced her after a work event in 2000, when Cuomo led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and she was a consultant for the agency. The woman, Karen Hinton, says she pulled away from Cuomo, but he pulled her back toward his body, holding her before she backed away and left the room.
Cuomo’s office vehemently denied Hinton’s accusation, according to WaPo:
In a statement, Peter Ajemian, Cuomo’s director of communications, vehemently denied Hinton’s account of her encounter with Cuomo in a hotel room.
“This did not happen,” he said. “Karen Hinton is a known antagonist of the Governor’s who is attempting to take advantage of this moment to score cheap points with made up allegations from 21 years ago. All women have the right to come forward and tell their story — however, it’s also whilethe responsibility of the press to consider self-motivation. This is reckless.”
As the news orgs breathlessly report a 6th woman coming forward about #creepycuomo please don’t forget the 15,000 dead seniors he helped kill and then covered up the death toll.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) March 9, 2021
While there is a danger in focusing solely on the harassment allegations against NY’s governor — many people did die during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic in New York would should not have — the most powerful man in the Empire state has sworn to provide a safe and appropriate work environment for those whom he employs or deals with on constituents’ behalf, as well.