NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A sixth woman has reportedly come forward and is accusing Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment.
The Albany Times Union reported that a member of the executive chamber staff says the governor inappropriately touched her late last year during an encounter at the Executive Mansion, where she had been summoned to do work.READ MORE: N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James Names Team Investigating Cuomo Sexual Harassment Allegations
The newspaper withheld the identity of the woman and has not reached her for comment. Her allegations were reportedly made over the weekend to a supervisor in the governor’s office, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
On a conference call with reporters on Tuesday afternoon, Cuomo was asked about the new allegations.
“I’m not aware of any other claim. As I said last week, this is very simple. I never touched anyone inappropriately. As I said last week, I never made any inappropriate advances. As I said last week, no one ever told me at the time that I made them feel uncomfortable,” Cuomo said.
A spokesperson for state Attorney General Letitia James, whose office is investigating the charges, said, “We cannot comment on this matter.”
Extended Interview: Cuomo Accuser Ana Liss Shares Experience, Discusses ‘Toxic’ Work Environment
The new allegations come on the heels of another accuser speaking out. Ana Liss told WROC in Rochester over the weekend that her former workplace was toxic, adding that Albany environment is not safe for women.
“His actions made me feel really nervous. Like he sees me now. Now what? So you kind of just freeze,” Liss said in a recent interview.
WATCH: Cuomo Accuser Ana Liss Shares Experience, Discusses ‘Toxic’ Work Environment
Liss was a policy and operations aide in the Cuomo administration starting in 2013 — nearly a decade ago — and said her interactions with the governor were similar to the accusations of other young women who have come forward to accuse him of acting inappropriately.
“For me, there was one occasion where I was asked if I had a boyfriend by the governor. Those interactions, I thought at the time, were harmless flirtations and ‘That’s how he is.’ Other women went along with it and reacted kindly and bashful to that kind of treatment,” Liss said.
She said another time the governor, “approached me. He hugged me and kissed me on the cheek, put his hand around my waist, and we took that picture together,” Liss said.
That incident was at a celebration of four years of on-time budgets.
“At the time, I thought that was wonderful and everyone was talking about it, ‘Oh, the governor likes you and he thinks you’re cute.’ I realize now that I wish that the environment were a little bit different for young women, young attractive women in Albany,” Liss said.
WATCH: Extended Interview With Cuomo Accuser Ana Liss
However, her accusations have a number of twists.
“I’m not claiming sexual harassment per se. I’m just saying that it wasn’t a safe space for young women to work or for women in general,” Liss said.
She says patronizing behavior towards young women reflected what she called a “megalomania.”
“When you feel powerful, you feel like you’re unimpeachable,” Liss said.
“I remember thinking, ‘Wow, that’s dangerous. Good luck to you. I would never open my mouth. They’re going to crush you like a bug.’ Two days after she posted the tweet I got a come a phone call from Rich Azzopardi, who is a senior advisor to the governor and his spokesperson, and he asked me, ‘I have kind of an awkward question to ask you. Has Lindsey Boylan reached out to you? Have you spoken to her?’ And I said no, and then we hung up and I remember thinking, ‘How many other people is he calling?'” Liss said.READ MORE: Despite More Sexual Harassment Accusers Coming Forward, Gov. Cuomo Says Again He Has No Plans To Resign
Azzopardi did not respond to a request for comment, seeking to know why he was calling Liss.
She also offered her description of the work environment in Albany.
“It was toxic, retaliatory, hostile. There was screaming, there was name-calling. There was a sense of fear in the air that you could say or do the wrong thing at any moment and you could lose your job,” Liss told WROC.
Watch Marcia Kramer’s report —
Liss’ words came as the governor’s family finally spoke out. Matilda Cuomo, who was front and center with her son at the naming of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, told the Albany Times Union, “I have always had the upmost admiration for Andrew, and I still do. He is my son and I don’t like what he’s going through.'”
Cuomo’s sister, Maria Cuomo Cole, said, “Our family is all rallied around him. He has our 100% confidence.”
And while the controversy continued unabated, the governor was in Syracuse on Tuesday at another vaccine site, trying to focus on doing his job.
“And then let’s get back to work. Let’s rebuild this economy. Let’s rebuild the state. Let’s get our lives back to normal. Let’s get normal society functioning again. The vaccine is the ticket,” Cuomo said.
So far, nearly three dozen lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans — have called on the governor to resign.
Democratic Assembly Member Dick Gottfried put out a statement saying, “Multiple and growing credible allegations of sexual harassment and recent reports detailing the cover-up of the true COVID-19 death toll in nursing homes are extremely disturbing and make it clear that Governor Cuomo is no longer the right governor for New York. It is clear that it is best for New York for Governor Cuomo to resign.”
My statement on the recent allegations against Governor Cuomo: pic.twitter.com/a3gJQ5AeSA
— Richard Gottfried (@DickGottfried) March 9, 2021
Assemblyman Tom Abinanti says don’t be fooled by the governor’s “taking care of business attitude.” He says Albany is consumed by the growing scandal around the governor.
“The budget, the pandemic, the nursing home crisis and so many other issues. He’s a distraction and he’s distracted, and it’s really time for him to go,” Abinanti told CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
He says what the governor has admitted to and apologized for is enough.
“I don’t know what he expects to come from the report, but he has admitted to all of the elements, the textbook elements, of sexual harassment,” Abinanti said.
Especially, critics say, after strengthening workplace protections in 2019.
“That he would sign these laws that he championed, or at least allegedly championed, and not understand what sexual harassment is is not believable to me,” said State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi.
The governor appears to have picked up support from over two-dozen state assemblywomen, who urged the public to let the attorney general’s investigation run its course before jumping to conclusions.
“With yesterday’s announcement launching the independent investigation led by Joon H. Kim and Anne L. Clark, I am confident everyone’s voice will be heard and taken seriously. I trust the inquiry to be completed as thoroughly and expeditiously as possible. New Yorkers should be confident that through this process they will soon learn the facts,” Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement.
A lawyer for the governor says any relevant complaints will be swiftly reported to the Attorney General and her team assigned to probe these allegations.
The governor says everyone should wait for that probe to be completed, and he says he is not resigning.MORE NEWS: Third Former Aide Accuses Gov. Andrew Cuomo Of Inappropriate Behavior
CBS2’s Marcia Kramer and Tony Aiello contributed to this report.