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Calls for Cuomo’s resignation when third prosecutor reveals up | Oklahoma Information

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NEW YORK (AP) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned late Monday after a third woman accused him of abusive behavior, touching her face and back and asking her to kiss her, after meeting at a wedding party.

Anna Ruch told the New York Times late Monday that she took the Democratic governor’s hand off her back, but he said she was “aggressive” and immediately put his hands on her face and asked if he could kiss her.

“I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed,” 33-year-old Ruch told the Times, which posted a photo of the encounter showing the governor’s hands on her face. “I turned my head away and at that moment I had no words.”

An email requesting a comment has been sent to Ruchs Fotobusiness. Their social media accounts were private. An email was also sent to the Cuomo administration for a comment.

The report by Ruch, who worked as a photographer at the White House during President Barack Obama’s second term, made her the second woman to accuse Cuomo of touching her without permission and urged Cuomo to resign, including some of his own Political party.

“Governor Cuomo’s pattern of sexual harassment and predatory behavior is unacceptable, and I believe women are coming forward,” New York City Councilor Antonio Reynoso tweeted in comments repeated elsewhere. “Governor Cuomo must resign.”

The latest allegation follows allegations of sexual harassment against the governor by two women who worked for his administration. These reports prompted New York’s independently elected attorney general to say that they were conducting an investigation into his conduct.

Attorney General Letitia James received a letter Monday from Cuomo’s office authorizing her to lead the investigation after a weekend of debating who should investigate.

The letter enables James, also a Democrat, to hire an outside law firm to conduct a full subpoena investigation. The results will be published in a public report, the letter said.

Cuomo has claimed he has never touched or suggested anyone inappropriately.

Former adjutant Charlotte Bennett denied Cuomo’s attempt at apology, excusing his behavior as “playful” and saying on Monday that the governor “refused to acknowledge his predatory behavior or accept responsibility for it”.

Bennett, who claims Cuomo interviewed her about her sex life and asked if she was open to a relationship with an older man, tweeted that “abusers – especially those of tremendous power – are often repeat offenders who use manipulative tactics to get around themselves decrease allegations, blame victims, deny wrongdoing and escape consequences. “

After hearing the news of Fuchs’s report, Bennett tweeted her: “His inappropriate and aggressive behavior cannot be justified or normalized. Thank you for your courage and strength. “

Cuomo’s support has declined in two crises. The harassment allegations follow allegations that he covered up the actual coronavirus death toll among nursing home residents.

It’s quite a downfall for Cuomo, widely hailed for his leadership during the pandemic, especially the daily press conferences trying to inform and reassure the public with charts, graphs, and a machismo that he calls “New.” York harsh “.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and other elected officials have said that during the investigation, Cuomo should relinquish the emergency powers he has held since the pandemic began almost a year ago. The legislature, despite a push from Republicans and some Democrats, has taken no steps to revoke Cuomo’s emergency powers, which are due to expire on April 30.

On Monday, Cuomo hired Manhattan litigation attorney Elkan Abramowitz to represent him and his office on probes related to nursing homes.

Abramowitz, who previously represented Cuomo’s office in a federal investigation into its 2014 decision to shut down a state anti-corruption commission, said he does not represent Cuomo on the sexual harassment issue.

Bennett, 25, made her allegations in a story published in The Times on Saturday. She said Cuomo told her he was lonely and was looking for a girlfriend.

Cuomo did not respond to Bennett’s testimony on Monday.

Former adjutant Lindsey Boylan said Cuomo made inappropriate comments about her appearance, kissed her without her consent at the end of a meeting, and once suggested playing strip poker on board his state jet. Boylan, who is running for President of the Manhattan borough, first accused Cuomo in a tweet last December and addressed the allegations in a Medium post last week.

She tweeted on Monday about Ruch’s experience with the governor and said, “I don’t feel validated by this. It makes me sick. “

Cuomo has denied Boylan’s allegations. In a statement on Sunday, he admitted that he raised people about their personal life to be “playful” and funny. He said he wanted to act like a mentor to Bennett.

“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal, and that because of my position, some of my comments made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge that some of the things I have said have been misunderstood as unwanted flirtation. As far as anyone has felt that way, I’m really sorry, ”he said.

Cuomo’s statement was immediately criticized by critics who said he was putting responsibility on the women by saying they misread his statements.

The letter approving James’ investigation states that all government officials have been ordered to cooperate fully with the investigation. Cuomo’s senior advisor Beth Garvey said she would facilitate interviews with witnesses and requests for documents from Cuomo’s office.

Ross Garber, an attorney who has represented former South Carolina Governors Mark Sanford and Connecticut John Rowland, said Cuomo “is essentially handing his reputation over to an outsider and saying, ‘You have it. Find what you want and publish a report to the public on what you concluded that I did or did not do it. ‘“

Bennett’s attorney Debra Katz said her client would cooperate fully with the attorney general’s investigation.

“He was not a mentor, and Ms. Bennett did not misunderstand what he said,” said Katz. “He abused his power over her for sex. That’s textbook sexual harassment. “

At first, Cuomo seemed to want to keep control of the investigation. Its office said it asked a former federal judge, Barbara Jones, to conduct the investigation. Then his office suggested that the attorney general and the chief judge of the state work together to appoint an outside attorney.

Finally, on Sunday, Cuomo gave in to James’ demands for control.

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Villeneuve reported from Albany, New York. Associate press reporter Karen Matthews from New York contributed to this report.

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Follow Michael Sisak on Twitter at twitter.com/mikesisak and Marina Villeneuve at twitter.com/ReporterMarina

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