NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The lawyer for one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s main accusers is leveling new and unusual charges of hazing as lawmakers and survivors of sexual harassment push for new legal protections for victims of abuse.
As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reports, Charlotte Bennett has provided a lot of information to investigators probing the governor for sexual harassment, but here’s a new one — according to her lawyer, Cuomo was allegedly into office hazing.READ MORE: Cuomo Administration Reportedly Prioritized Governor’s Family, Well-Connected New Yorkers For Early COVID Tests
“It’s a bizarre request, but he says, ‘I want you to memorize these lyrics,'” attorney Debra Katz said.
Katz says the governor asked her client to learn the lyrics to “Danny Boy,” then asked her to sing it for members of the senior staff, including secretary to the governor, Melissa DeRosa.
“She says, ‘I don’t want to sing ‘Danny Boy.” He says, ‘Sing ‘Danny Boy,”” Katz said. “At that point, Melissa DeRosa says … ‘You’re hazing her.’ … The governor then starts booming the song ‘Danny Boy’ and he’s singing himself and saying, ‘Sing with me.'”
The latest disclosure comes as members of the legislature and survivors of sexual harassment sought stronger sexual harassment laws.
State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi says the governor’s inappropriate behavior makes stronger laws even more important and make survivors stronger and more intent on seeking change.READ MORE: Exclusive: Debra Katz, Attorney For Cuomo Accuser Charlotte Bennett, Accuses Governor Of Witness Intimidation
“This is a man who has spent 63 years on this earth never being held accountable for anything,” Biaggi said.
One legislative proposal would allow a one-year look back for survivors to file claims, even if the statute of limitations has expired.
“It’s only fair. It’s only just,” State Sen. Brad Hoylman said.
Meanwhile, the governor staged a vaccine event in the Bronx to curry support from Latino voters.
He unveiled a memorial to victims of Hurricane Maria, shared pictures of his trip to Puerto Rico to help the island rebuild and received praise from leaders like Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“Time and time again you have always remembered us, you’ve always stood by us and you’ve always made sure that we were not forgotten,” Diaz said.MORE NEWS: New Yorkers Call For Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Impeachment, Accuser Lindsey Boylan Speaks Out At NYC Rally
Katz told Kramer that the Attorney General’s investigation of the governor is making headway. She says they’ve already contacted 12 witnesses provided by her client.