- By Steve Bittenbender | The Center Square contributor/March 19th, 2021
(The Center Square) – A new accuser has come forward in the ongoing sexual harassment scandal tied to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. On Friday, a current staffer came forward with a series of allegations against the leader facing numerous calls to resign over similar accusations.
Alyssa McGrath told The New York Times that the governor gawked at her body and commented on her appearance. In another instance, she claimed Cuomo “gazed down her shirt.”
She becomes the second current aide to accuse Cuomo of harassing behavior. Last week, the Albany Times Union reported an unnamed individual filed a complaint that the governor grabbed her in the executive mansion last year.
McGrath, 33, also said the anonymous staffer revealed details about that encounter, including Cuomo allegedly telling her not to discuss the incident with McGrath.
In less than a month, Cuomo has now been named by multiple women who have accused him of unwanted physical touching or asking probing questions about their love lives or preferences. Those claims have led to investigations by both the Attorney General’s office and the state Assembly.
“The women in the executive chamber are there to work for the State of New York, not serve as his eye candy or prospective girlfriend.” Mariann Wang, an attorney for McGrath, told the Times.
The new allegations come a day after Lindsey Boylan spoke to Ronan Farrow at The New Yorker spoke about the culture of harassment and bullying she saw while working for Cuomo. Boylan was the first former aide to come forward, and among her claims was that Cuomo planted an unwanted kiss on her in his New York City office.
She added that Cuomo could be caustic with staffers as well as those with whom he disagreed. During a party at the executive mansion’s pool house, she claimed a picture of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was hung on a dartboard.
The accusations of bullying and sexual harassment, along with an ongoing federal investigation into how the Cuomo administration reported nursing home deaths, have cratered the governor’s popularity numbers.
On Friday, City & State New York reported the findings from a Data for Progress survey of New York voters. It found that only 39 percent of them hold a favorable impression of the governor, compared to 54 percent unfavorable. Just 41 percent approve of his job performance.
When it comes to resigning, 49 percent said Cuomo should do so immediately, and 53 percent believe lawmakers should start the impeachment process now. If the gubernatorial election were held now, only 15 percent would vote for him. Two-thirds of respondents said they would pick a new candidate.
As the claims against Cuomo grow, a new report emerged against another potential candidate in the 2022 election. Late Friday afternoon, New York Magazine reported that Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, who has been mentioned as a GOP candidate next year, reportedly touched a then-25-year-old female lobbyist in an inappropriate manner at a bar.
Nicolette Davis claimed Reed put his hand on back and started to unclasp her bra from outside her shirt.
While the magazine reported another individual at the event supported Davis’ claims, Reed’s office disputed the accuracy of the account.