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Cuomo could be forced to testify in sexual harassment investigation

Then, on Saturday, the New York Times ran an article about Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old former governor’s office worker who accused her of asking invasive questions, including whether she was monogamous and had had sex with older men. . She said she interpreted the remarks as sexual advances.

Mr. Cuomo’s office denied Ms. Boylan’s allegations at the time. On Sunday, following Ms Bennett’s account, Mr Cuomo released a statement in which he denied proposing or touching anyone inappropriately, but apologized for the workplace comments which, according to him, “were misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation.”

On Monday, following a public back-and-forth over who would lead the investigation, Ms James received permission from the governor to initiate an investigation under a section of state law that allows to his office to “investigate matters relating to public peace, public safety and public justice.” “

The claims of the two women are now at the center of this investigation, the outlines of which are still taking shape but could deeply penetrate the inner workings of the governor’s office and the way in which allegations of sexual misconduct are handled there.

Cuomo’s office said the governor’s office would “cooperate fully” and that he had asked all state employees to do so as well.

Investigators will ultimately produce a public report, which is sure to include a summary and analysis of their findings, possibly even recommendations. Experts said the civil investigation could determine whether Mr. Cuomo violated state human rights laws and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, a federal law that protects against harassment because of a person’s gender.

“These women have the opportunity, potentially, to bring a lawsuit against their employer, New York State, for Governor Cuomo’s conduct,” Pirrotti said, adding that the facts in the report could help victims recover damages. damages for economic and emotional distress. .

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