NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In another twist in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment case, an allegation that he groped an aide in his residence at the Executive Mansion has been referred to Albany Police by the governor’s lawyer after the woman refused to report the incident.
According to the Albany Times Union, the woman had been called to the mansion under the pretext of having to assist the governor with a minor technical issue involving his cellphone.READ MORE: Report: 6th Accuser Comes Forward, Says Cuomo Acted Inappropriately Towards Her At Governor’s Executive Mansion
The report says, “They were alone in Cuomo’s private residence on the second floor of the mansion when he closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her.”
Beth Garvey, acting counsel to the governor, said she was following state policy because the woman did not want to file charges.
“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,” said Garvey said.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan became the latest to jump into the Cuomo sexual harassment saga Thursday, tweeting Albany Police are “ready to assist any victim who seeks to come forward.”
— Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan (@MayorSheehan) March 11, 2021
The mayor apparently extended the offer to women afraid to tell their stories, as well as the most recent unidentified staffer.
The lawyers appointed by the attorney general to oversee the investigation also created a website to gather information on allegations against Gov. Cuomo.
This all comes as pressure on the governor to resign continues to intensify.
“The allegations of these women are very, very troubling. The one last night was particularly nauseating,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer.READ MORE: N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James Names Team Investigating Cuomo Sexual Harassment Allegations
“The specific allegation that the governor called an employee of his — someone that he had power over — called them to a private place and then sexually assaulted her is absolutely unacceptable,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. “It’s just disqualifying. He just can’t serve as governor anymore.”
Cuomo flatly denied the groping allegation.
“I have never done anything like this. The details of this report are gut-wrenching,” Cuomo said.
But as CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced Thursday night the Judiciary Committee will begin an impeachment investigation with subpoena power.
Queens Assemblyman David Weprin, a Democrat, is on the committee.
“We’re not making any predeterminations and the facts will take us where they’ll take us,” Weprin said.
Assemblyman Ron Kim said earlier the lower house should vote on articles of impeachment and send the matter to the state Senate for trial.
Kim said it’s important to “put the executive in front of us so we can get to the bottom of what happened.”
The latest allegation reportedly came to light a week ago when other staffers noticed a woman crying while watching Cuomo publicly deny he ever touched anyone inappropriately.
“We’re in the middle of negotiating a budget in New York state that’s due April 1. It’s not fair that we have all of these distractions,” Queens Sen. Jessica Ramos said.
So far, police in Albany have apparently not opened a criminal investigation, but the situation underscores the problems the governor could face if this woman decides to pursue charges.
In another development Thursday, Jay Jacobs, chairman of the New York Democratic Party, said he will convene a meeting of the county Democratic chairs to discuss the situation.MORE NEWS: Despite More Sexual Harassment Accusers Coming Forward, Gov. Cuomo Says Again He Has No Plans To Resign
CBS2’s Andrea Grymes contributed to this report