Fifth Cuomo aide says he 'touched her inappropriately' years after 'he forced another staffer to hug him in hotel room'
A FIFTH Andrew Cuomo aide claimed the New York governor "touched her back and kissed her hand" while another accused him of "forcing her to hug him in a hotel room" 21 years ago.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo allegedly asked Ana Liss, now 35, if she had a boyfriend and once touched her lower back at an event, according to a report.
Cuomo's former aide also claimed the governor called her sweetheart and once kissed her hand as she stood up from her desk, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Liss worked as a policy and operations aide to Cuomo for two years, between 2013 and 2015.
She reportedly revealed her desk was located near Cuomo's office in the Executive Chamber of the New York State Capitol.
Two more Cuomo aides came forward as:
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- Charlotte Bennett claims harassment claims weren’t investigated
The Wall Street Journal interviewed Liss, who admitted she first took Cuomo's behavior as "harmless flirtations."
Her views later changed, making her feel like "just a skirt," which Liss noted is "not appropriate, really, in any setting."
Cuomo's representative Jack Stern issued a statement to The Sun on Saturday night on behalf of the governor's Senior Advisor Rich Azzopardi.
"Reporters and photographers have covered the governor for 14 years watching him kiss men and women and posing for pictures," it read.
"At the public open-house mansion reception, there are hundreds of people, and he poses for hundreds of pictures. That’s what people in politics do."
In addition to Liss, another woman opened up this weekend about her experience working with Cuomo over two decades ago.
A former press aide of Cuomo, 62-year-old Karen Hinton, has alleged the governor summoned her to his "dimly-lit" hotel room and hugged her after a work event about 21 years ago, The Washington Post reported.
Hinton told the news outlet that she was a consultant for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, which was run by Cuomo, at the time of the incident.
She claimed to have resisted when Cuomo embraced her but he continued to pull her close to his body, according to the report.
The Post also reported that two former Cuomo aides, both male, were "routinely berated with explicit language."
They alleged Cuomo called them "p***ies" and said they "have no balls."
Stern issued another statement to The Sun on the Director of Communications for the Governor's behalf, regarding Hinton's claims.
Peter Ajemian said in the statement: "This did not happen.
"Karen Hinton is a known antagonist of the Governor's who is attempting to take advantage of this moment to score cheap points with made up allegations from 21 years ago.
"All women have the right to come forward and tell their story — however, it's also the responsibility of the press to consider self-motivation. This is reckless."
Karen Hinton is a known antagonist of the Governor's who is attempting to take advantage of this moment to score cheap points with made up allegations from 21 years ago.
"The people of this state elected the Governor to represent them four times during the last 14 years and they know he works day and night for them," added Azzopardi.
"There is no secret these are tough jobs, and the work is demanding, but we have a top tier team with many employees who have been here for years, and many others who have left and returned.
"The Governor is direct with employees if their work is sub-par because the people of New York deserve nothing short of excellence. "
Cuomo responded to the "harassment" claims earlier this week and revealed he was "embarrassed."
During a remote briefing mid-week, Cuomo said: "I understand sensitivities have changed, behaviors have changed, and I’m going to learn from it."
Cuomo said on Wednesday, according to his rep: "You know, my usual custom is to kiss and to hug and make that gesture.
"I understand that sensitivities have changed and behavior has changed, and I get it. And I’m going to learn from it."
Meanwhile, Charlotte Bennett, 25, has made accusations against the governor.
Bennett has alleged that Cuomo sexually propositioned her, telling her he was "lonely" and he wanted a girlfriend and was willing to sleep with a younger woman.
Cuomo addressed her allegations by confessing to "unwanted flirtation" and said he was "truly sorry" if he upset anyone with his "banter."
Another Cuomo accuser, Lindsey Boylan, has denounced him as a "monster."
After the two accusations, a third woman, Anna Ruch, came forward and told The New York Times that Cuomo touched her lower back, then grabbed her cheeks and asked to kiss her at a September 2019 wedding.
The three women's accusations have prompted calls for the New York boss to quit. And now, Liss is the fourth woman to accuse Cuomo of sexual misconduct. Hinton is the fifth.
At least five of Cuomo's staffers have quit in the past week over the sexual harassment allegations and Covid nursing home scandal while calls mount for the governor to resign.
The governor’s office confirmed the departures of health care data analyst Erin Hammond and one of Cuomo’s schedulers, Sophie Boldison, one of Cuomo’s schedulers, the New York Post reports.
A spokesman for Cuomo claimed that both departures were scheduled for some time and that Hammond was leaving to "focus on her family" while Boldison was taking a new position at the state university system.
On Thursday allegations of a toxic work environment were made by Cuomo's staffers who alleged they were told to "wear heels when he's around" and some claimed he would fire people on the spot in anger.
Earlier this week another member of Cuomo's staff Gareth Rhodes, resigned just days after a guest at his wedding came forward with allegations that Cuomo sexually harassed her at the reception in September 2019.
More to follow…
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