New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing a second claim of harassment coming from his former aide Charlotte Bennett.
Charlotte Bennett, a health policy adviser to Governor Cuomo until November, told the New York Times that he had harassed her last year.
Andrew Cuomo, 63, has denied any inappropriate behavior and ordered an independent inquiry into the allegations.
Another former aide, Lindsey Boylan, has previously accused the governor of harassing her.
The 63-year-old, who has been governor for more than a decade, has found himself under pressure on several fronts in recent weeks.
Andrew Cuomo is under scrutiny from the Democratic Party – of which he is a member – for allegedly hiding the true number of Covid-related deaths in New York care homes.
He has also faced allegations of bullying, including from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Charlotte Bennett, 25, told the New York Times that Andrew Cuomo had asked her numerous questions about her personal life including whether she believed that age made a difference in romantic relationships.
She said he had also suggested that the governor was open to relationships with women in their 20s. Charlotte Bennett said she believed the comments were clear overtures to a sexual relationship.
In the interview, she said that in June last year Governor Cuomo had talked about feeling lonely during the pandemic and had asked her whom she had last hugged.
She said she dodged the question by saying she missed hugging her parents, but she believed the conversation had been another overture.
Charlotte Bennett said: “I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared and was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”
She said she informed Governor Cuomo’s chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, after the interaction and less than a week later was transferred to another job.
She said she had decided not to seek a formal investigation because she “wanted to move on”. No action was taken against Andrew Cuomo.
In a statement released on February 27, Governor Cuomo said he believed he had been acting as a mentor to Charlotte Bennett.
He said he had “never made advances toward Ms Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate”.
He said: “The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported.”
Governor Cuomo said he had authorized an external review of the matter.
“I ask all New Yorkers to await the findings of the review so that they know the facts before making any judgements,” he said.
Earlier this month, Lindsey Boylan published an essay detailing her claims of harassment.
She accused Governor Cuomo of kissing her on the lips and asking her to play strip poker while on his private jet.
She also claimed that he touched her without consent and frequently made inappropriate comments to her and other women about their appearances.
Andrew Cuomo had denied the accusations when they emerged late last year and reiterated those denials after the essay was published.
New York was one of the states worst hit by the pandemic and the governor won widespread praise for his response.
However, in January a report about New York’s response to Covid-19 in care homes – and the handling of related data – said it appeared a complete tally had not been provided to state lawmakers.
More than 15,000 New Yorkers in care homes have died since the start of the pandemic – believed to be the highest of any state in the US.
But until January, New York’s health department had logged just over 8,500 fatalities.
Andrew Cuomo acknowledged “a delay” in the reporting of some nursing home deaths but said the overall Covid-19 death count had always been accurate.
However, in a private conversation leaked to the New York Post, a top aide to Governor Cuomo confessed to covering up the real numbers and withholding the information out of concern the data “was going to be used against us”.
Andrew Cuomo has also faced accusations of bullying.
After Democratic New York Assemblyman Ron Kim criticized Andrew Cuomo over the nursing home issue, Governor Cuomo allegedly rang him and threatened his career.
Ron Kim accused his fellow Democrat of “verbal abuse” as other officials rushed to his defense.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the account “classic Andrew Cuomo,” adding that “the bullying is nothing new”.
Andrew Cuomo became one of the nation’s most influential Democrats during the early days of the pandemic.
The governor’s briefings, TV live, sometimes received more attention than appearances by the then-presidential Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
According to NYC’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the city was badly hit by the virus earlier this year when nearly 18,000 people died with Covid-19 in March, April and May.
Other states have broken new case records this week with Texas becoming the first state to hit one million total cases on November 10. If Texas were a separate country, it would rank 11th in the world for most cases.
Other states, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California and Florida, have also seen numbers rise. CBS News reports 15 states saw the numbers of patients in hospital due to the virus double in the last month.
Some hospitals, such as in Idaho and Missouri, have had to turn patients away because they ran out of room.
New York, the epicenter of the US Covid-19 outbreak, will allow pharmacies to carry out tests for the virus, Governor Andrew Cuomo says.
He said some 5,000 pharmacies would be able to carry out testing, with the aim to provide 40,000 per day.
As of April 25, the US has more than 938,000 confirmed cases. Almost a third of the 53,751 deaths happened in New York City alone.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump did not hold his daily briefing, saying it was not worth his “time or effort”.
Speaking on Twitter on April 25, the president blamed the media for asking “nothing but hostile questions”. Donald Trump was heavily criticized after suggesting at the previous White House news conference that injecting disinfectant could potentially be used as a treatment for the virus.
The president’s remarks have been condemned as dangerous by doctors and manufacturers, as disinfectants are hazardous substances and can be poisonous if ingested.
In NYC, calls to the hotline for exposure to certain household chemicals more than doubled in the 18 hours after President Trump’s remarks – 30 cases compared to 13 for the same time frame last year.
President Trump’s tweet appears to confirm reports that the conferences may be coming to an end because polls suggest they have not bolstered his popularity among voters.
On April 24, his briefing was unusually short – lasting just over 20 minutes – and he took no questions from the media.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on April 25 that antibody screenings would be expanded at four hospitals, beginning with frontline medical workers.
He also said independent pharmacies would be allowed to collect samples for diagnostic tests.
It is part of a drive to find out how widely the virus has spread across the state of 20 million people.
He said: “Twenty-one days of hell, and now we are back to where we were 21 days ago. Testing is what we are compulsively or obsessively focused on now.”
New York healthcare staff and essential workers – such as police officers, firefighters, bus drivers and shop assistants – would be able to get tests even if they did not have any symptoms of infection, he said.
According to Governor Cuomo, this was important not just for their own safety but also to protect the public.
Governor Cuomo criticized President Trump at his daily press briefing, telling reporters that this was the governors’ prerogative, not the president’s. Andrew Cuomo would “not engage” in a fight with President Trump, he claimed, but added he would have “no choice” if the president the threatened the welfare of New Yorkers.
President Trump drew rebuke after claiming on April 13 that he had the ultimate authority to lift lockdown orders, contradicting governors and legal experts.
On April 14, the president took the row to Twitter criticizing Andrew Cuomo and issuing an oblique snipe at other governors.
President Trump tweeted: “Tell the Democrat Governors that ‘Mutiny On The Bounty’ was one of my all time favorite movies.
“A good old fashioned mutiny every now and then is an exciting and invigorating thing to watch, especially when the mutineers need so much from the Captain.”
The movie tells the story of a ship’s revolt in which mutineers meet with unhappy ends, with President Trump appearing to compare himself to the captain.
He aimed particular fire at Andrew Cuomo, who he said was calling “daily, even hourly, begging for everything,” like hospitals, beds, ventilators for his state. New York remains the US state hardest-hit by the coronavirus outbreak, reporting 778 deaths in the past 24 hours.
Andrew Cuomo told CNN on April 14: “I put my hand out in total partnership and cooperation with the president.”
The comments follow President Trump’s assertion on April 13 that “the president of the United States calls the shots,” during a combative press conference in which he feuded with reporters.
However, the US Constitution says the states maintain public order and safety.
The Trump administration has signaled May 1st as a potential date for easing the restrictions.
The current White House recommendations for Americans to avoid restaurants and non-essential travel and keep in-person gatherings to no more than 10 people expire on April 30.
Andrew Cuomo described President Trump’s position as a “shift” for the president, who had left the shuttering of states to governors.
Scrutiny over New York’s coronavirus outbreak response has deepened after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state recorded its highest single-day increase in virus deaths on April 7.
New York reported 731 deaths bringing the total to 5,489 deaths and 138,836 infections.
Authorities faced questions over their actions for at-risk people after an infected inmate at Rikers Island jail died.
Michael Tyson, 53, died waiting for a hearing over a non-criminal offence.
As of April 5, 286 inmates and 331 staffers in New York City’s jails have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The outbreak in NYC’s jail system is one of the worst at correctional facilities throughout the US, just as New York state leads the country in both total coronavirus cases and deaths since the virus reached the US.
Governor Cuomo disclosed that New York, which has been the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the US, saw its highest number of fatalities in a 24 hour period between April 6 and April 7.
The change came after New York had seen two days of slowing infection rates and fewer deaths.
However, Governor Cuomo said the three day average for cases had fallen. However, he warned that New Yorkers must continue to follow health guidelines to socially distance and stay indoors.
He also asked people to avoid large gatherings as religious holidays Passover and Easter approach.
Governor Cuomo has so far ordered the release of at least 1,100 prisoners. Responding to questions on Tuesday, an aide to the governor said the state was “continuing to evaluate” the situation in New York’s jails in relation to the virus.
A New York state wage board unanimously recommended the increase of fast food workers’ minimum wages to $15 an hour.
New York City workers will be the first to benefit, with the increase due to be in place by the end of 2018.
Fast food workers in the rest of New York state will have to wait until mid 2021 for the rise.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the vote marked “one of the really great days of my administration”.
The state minimum wage is currently $8.75.
Andrew Cuomo also said: “You cannot live and support a family on $18,000 a year in the state of New York, period.
“This is just the beginning. We will not stop until we reach true economic justice.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would now push for every worker in the city, not just fast food staff, to get a higher salary.
“This only underscores how necessary it is to raise the wage across the board. As much as fast food workers need and deserve a raise – and we know they do – we must ensure that every worker gets a living wage,” he said.
While Bill de Blasio has pushed for a higher minimum wage, he does not have the power to set it.
As a result, Gov. Andrew Cuomo created the panel to look at wages in the fast food industry.
Now the panel has backed the increase, it is expected to be backed by the acting state commissioner of labor, marking the last significant hurdle before it becomes mandatory.
The move is expected to affect around 180,000 workers which are employed in the fast food industry in New York state.
The decision follows similar minimum wage increases in other US cities, including Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The University of California system earlier said that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 for all hourly workers.
However,the move was not universally welcomed. Restaurant owners warned that the increase would force them to either reduce their staff numbers or increase menu prices.
Jack Bert, a franchisee who owns seven McDonald’s in New York City, said it had been “a flawed process”.
“Singling out fast food restaurants while ignoring other industries that hire workers who are paid under $15 is unfair and discriminatory, harms New York workers, and puts some New York businesses – including mine and my fellow New York McDonald’s franchisees – at a competitive disadvantage,” he said.
Randy Maestro, a lawyer hired by a group of franchise owners, said the group was looking into whether the decision could be challenged in court.
The escape of convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat from a maximum security jail in New York has been described as a “crisis situation” by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, used power tools to break out of Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora near the Canadian border.
Andrew Cuomo said: “These are dangerous men capable of committing grave crimes again.”
New York State is offering a $100,000 reward for any information leading to Richard Matt and David Sweat arrest.
The governor said the prison breakout was the first escape from the facility in 150 years.
The New York Post reported that Richard Matt and David Sweat cut through the steel back walls of their cell before clambering along a catwalk to reach a series of pipes and tunnels, which they again cut their way through.
Richard Matt and David Sweat then climbed up through a manhole into a nearby street, “disappearing into the darkness some 20 miles south of Canada”.
They placed bundles of clothing in their beds to fool guards into believing they were asleep, before making their escape during Friday night. Their absence from adjoining cells was not discovered until the following morning.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said someone must have heard at least some of the noise.
After the prisoners were apprehended, the authorities would conduct a full review of the escape, he added.
“We’ll go through the exact details of what they did and how they did it to ensure this never happens again.”
Richard Matt was given a jail term of 25 years to life for the kidnapping and beating a man to death in 1997.
David Sweat was serving a life sentence without parole for the murder of Broome County Sheriff’s Deputy, Kevin Tarsia.
Police are trying to determine how the men acquired the tools needed to carry out the escape.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo posted pictures of pipes and walls with chunks cut out after he was shown the inmates’ escape route.
More than 200 officers are searching for Richard Matt and David Sweat, using sniffer dogs and aerial surveillance.
They may have crossed the border into Canada or headed to another state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. There is also concern they may have had assistance from someone outside the prison.
Roadblocks have been set up in the area to catch Richard Matt and David Sweat, who both have distinctive tattoos, according to local media.
Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo has died just hours before his son Andrew was inaugurated for a second term as governor, family sources say.
Mrio Cuomo, 82, refused a number of proposals to seek the US presidency during the course of a long career.
The three-time Democratic governor died of heart failure at his home.
The New York Times described Mario Cuomo as a “liberal beacon” who “commanded the attention of the country with a compelling public presence”.
It said that he will be remembered for his “exhaustive ruminations about whether to run for president”.
Mario Cuomo was urged by the Democrats twice to run for the White House – in 1988 and 1992 – but on each occasion rejected their overtures.
A renowned political orator, Mario Cuomo led New York during volatile times from 1983 to 1994 and many of his ambitious plans were stifled by recession and cash shortages.
Mario Cuomo did not attend his son’s inauguration speech on January 1st because he was not well – however the current governor used the occasion to honor his father.
“He is in the heart and mind of every person who is here,” Andrew Cuomo said.
“He is here and his inspiration and his legacy and his experience is what has brought this state to this point, so let’s give him a round of applause.”
Mario Cuomo’s moved in public prominence in 1982 when he won the Democratic nomination for governor of New York, beating Ed Koch, the mayor of New York City. He then went on to defeat conservative millionaire Republican Lewis Lehrman.
His reputation for powerful oratory began at the 1984 Democratic National Convention when he delivered his Tale of Two Cities keynote address, in which he contrasted wealthy New York with its poorer areas.
Correspondents say that the son of Italian immigrants and avid baseball fan was an unusually deep-thinking politician whose eloquence was often matched by his prickliness.
Mario Cuomo won two more terms as governor in 1986 and 1990, and frequently vetoed legislation that would have restored the death penalty in New York.
The New York state Board of Elections is preparing for the worst as they are releasing information about possible back-up scenarios if the election turn out is significantly lower than expected because of damage from Hurricane Sandy.
If less than 25% of registered voters show up to polling stations on Tuesday, they are prepared to extend the voting deadline past Tuesday evening, meaning that New Yorkers may have two days to cast their ballots.
The news comes just a day after neighboring New Jersey, which is considered the worst-hit of all of the East Coast because of the hurricane, announced that they will allow residents to email their votes in if they are unable to get to a polling station.
Election organizers are grappling with ways to make sure that the presidential election is not thwarted by any turnout issues stemming from Monday’s storm.
The New York board, which consists of two Democrats and two Republicans, will make the final decision Tuesday over whether or not they will hold a second day of voting.
They will be comparing this year’s turnout to that of previous elections, where typical turnout hovers around 60% of registered voters.
While power was restored to Manhattan on Friday, thousands remain in the dark. Progress is being made daily, but Governor Andrew Cuomo has urged utility companies to prioritize polling sites so that voters can cast their ballots safely.
“We’ve provided lists of poll sites to local utilities, and some of the voting machines do have battery backup,” board of elections spokesman Tom Connolly said.
“We are also planning to get generators to polling sites, but it’s not like we have an unlimited supply of generators.”
New York may extend voting for an extra day due to Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy, that barreled down on New Jersey and New York on October 29, has claimed 110 lives, displaced thousands and left millions without power for days.
Flooding, damaged roads and power outages have forced many Jerseyites from their homes and the electronic option will allow first responders who are working away from home and those displaced by the storm to cast their ballot.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his counterpart in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo, have been reviewing how to prepare their respective states for November 6 – while simultaneously trying to restore electricity and access to food and water.
New Jersey will allow any state resident that has been displaced by the storm to qualify as an overseas voter, meaning they can submit their ballot by fax or email.
Governor Chris Christie also mandated that county clerks open their offices over the weekend to allow early voting and has called for paper ballots to be sent to polling stations still without power.
Tens of thousands of people whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy could soon need housing as cold weather closes in, New York’s political leaders have warned.
Homes without heat would become uninhabitable as temperatures fell, state Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg put the figure at 30,000-40,000 people.
At least 106 US deaths – 40 of them in New York City – have been blamed on Superstorm Sandy, which struck on 29 October.
Residents who had so far refused to leave their homes would have no other option, Andrew Cuomo told a news conference on Sunday.
He also said there would be increasing pressure on public transport on Monday, as more people returned to work and the schools re-opened.
Fuel shortages were easing, but Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers not to hoard petrol, saying more supplies were on their way.
Tens of thousands of New Yorkers whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy could soon need housing as cold weather closes in
New York City opened warming shelters in areas without power and handed out blankets to residents who insisted on staying in homes without power.
But Michael Bloomberg urged those without heating to leave their homes if necessary.
“You can die from being cold. You can die from fires started when you use candles or stoves to heat your apartment,” he said.
“If you don’t know where to go, stop a cop on the street and say, please tell me where to go. They’ll help you. But we have to make sure that you are safe for a few days and that you have food and water for a few days.”
Temperatures fell to 39 F (4 C) on Sunday and are forecast to go as low as 30 F (-1C) on Monday.
About 730,000 people in New York state still do not have electricity, including more than 130,000 in New York City, the governor said.
Nearly a million people in the neighboring state of New Jersey remain without power, and petrol is being rationed.
Hundreds of runners who had been planning to take part in the New York marathon – cancelled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday – joined impromptu runs to raise funds or deliver aid.
The storm damage from Sandy is also affecting preparations for voting in Tuesday’s elections.
New Jersey residents displaced by Hurricane Sandy will be able to vote by email or fax, the state’s chief election official has decided.
They will be designated as “overseas voters” and can apply for mail-in ballots up until 17:00 on Election Day.
Michael Bloomberg said New York officials would do “anything we can” to help the board of elections, saying “they have real problems”.
New York Gov Andrew Cuomo is calling up an additional 1,000 National Guard troops, doubling the Superstorm force he initially thought would be enough to deal with the impending mayhem due to hit the city.
Andrew Cuomo says the troops will be used to prepare for a possible historic storm surge and to contend with widespread damage and power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy.
He already called up 1,000 National Guard troopers on Sunday, saying today the “cruel irony” is that the state is better prepared now because of last year’s tropical storms.
The Army Corps of Engineers says the state is very well prepared and more bridges and tunnels around the city are expected to be closed at 7:00 p.m.
Police evacuated the area surrounding a super luxury high-rise under construction near Carnegie Hall as a rooftop crane dangled precariously in the wind on the roof.
Police have closed off Seventh Avenue between 58th and 55th Streets. All occupants of buildings on West 57th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues have been advised to move to the lower floors.
The streets were deserted from early this morning after 375,000 people were evacuated from their homes, subways stopped and shops and businesses closed in preparation for what is thought to be one of the worst storms in history.
Manhattan streets were deserted from early this morning after 375,000 people were evacuated from their homes ahead of Hurricane Sandy
A 14-foot wall of water is expected to pummel the east coast after 5:00 p.m. today and residents are bracing themselves for winds of up to 90 mph – with the tunnels in and out of the city shut down at 2:00 p.m.
Subways, schools and the stock exchange will be closed tomorrow as well.
The National Weather Service is reporting 24-foot seas off New Jersey after the storm continues to gather strength as it barrels across the Atlantic.
City officials are bracing for the high tide which is expected to come around 8:00 p.m. with Gov Andrew Cuomo warning: “The worst is still to come. Do not underestimate this storm.”
He added: “We are known for our toughness, but we have a sense of community that is very inspirational.”
LILCO reported more than 115,000 customers on Long Island were without power from Monday morning. Con Edison said at least 21,000 customers in New York City and in Westchester County are without power, while in upstate New York, 10,600 customers are affected.
Two key tunnels connecting Manhattan to New Jersey and Brooklyn would be closed later on Monday ahead of the hurricane.
Andrew Cuomo said the Holland Tunnel, which opened in 1927 and remains one of the main connections between New Jersey and New York City, would close as a precaution at 2:00 p.m.
The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, known locally as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, will also shut down at the time. New York City bridges will remain open for now, he said at a news conference.
Those on the upper floors of high-rise buildings are getting ready to be evacuated because the winds are going to be significantly stronger than those near ground level.
An alarm was raised after a crane on West 57th Street collapsed on to a 75-story building.
New Yorkers spent most of yesterday cleaning out grocery stores as they stocked up on water, batteries, candles and essential food items.
New York City is on lockdown in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, as it barrels towards America’s largest city, and its residents were quick to respond rushing to stock up the essentials.
Staples like bread, water, eggs, and produce have been flying off the shelves as the city’s 8 million residents prepare for the megastorm.
In addition, for only the second time in the subway’s hundred-year history, the entire metropolitan transit system, including buses, will be halted, starting at 7:00 p.m. tonight, adding a sense of urgency to New Yorker’s pre-storm preparations.
In a news conference shortly before noon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that those living in low-lying areas must evacuate, and said that all public schools will be closed tomorrow.
The mayor urged residents of New York to stay inside as much as possible starting at sundown tonight, warning of high winds up to 70 mph and torrential rain.
In addition to low-lying areas of Manhattan, Michael Bloomberg ordered that residents of the Rockaways, a low-lying area of Queens by Jamaica Bay, evacuate.
“If you don’t evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you,” he said today.
“This is a serious and dangerous storm.”
New York City is on lockdown in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy and its residents were quick to respond rushing to stock up the essentials
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo echoed Michael Bloomberg’s warnings.
“A situation like this, you don’t want to be overly panicked and overly prepared, but you want to be prudent, you want to do what’s necessary,” he said.
Andrew Cuomo also said the National Guard would be deployed, 200 troops in New York City, and 400 on Long Island.
In addition, nearly 4,000 flights were canceled for Monday, with 857 cancellations at Newark in New Jersey, followed by 632 at New York’s Kennedy Airport and more than 500 cancellations at both New York’s LaGuardia and Philadelphia International.
FlightAware said it expects the number of flight cancellations for Monday and Tuesday to “rise considerably”.
A spokesman for United Airlines parent United Continental Holdings Inc. told the Associated Press that the carrier has suspended an unspecified number of flights to New York and Washington-area airports beginning Sunday evening with plans to resume Tuesday as conditions permit.
JetBlue Airways, which flies out of JFK, said it has canceled more than 1,000 flights from Sunday through Wednesday morning.
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