- Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s senior advisor Richard Azzopardi sent files containing negative information about Cuomo accuser Lindsey Boylan to a slew of journalists mere hours after Boylan came forward with #METOO allegations in December 2020, an investigation released Tuesday found.
- The confidential files were accompanied by a statement from Press Secretary Caitlin Girouard that there “is simply no truth to these claims” against the governor, the report said.
- The investigation also found that beginning around December 15, 2020, “the Governor and a group of advisors worked on a draft letter or op-ed” which attempted to tie Boylan to supporters of former President Donald Trump.
A senior advisor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent files containing negative information about Cuomo accuser Lindsey Boylan to a slew of journalists mere hours after she came forward with #METOO allegations in December 2020, an investigation released Tuesday found.
An investigation released Tuesday by Attorney General Letitia James found that Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “sexually harassed a number of State employees through unwelcome and unwanted touching, as well as by making numerous offensive and sexually suggestive comments” and that this conduct “was part of a pattern of behavior that extended to his interactions with others outside of State government.”
Rich Azzopardi, a senior advisor to Cuomo, sent confidential files on Boylan to David Caruso of the Associated Press, Dana Rubinstein of the New York Times, Ed McKinley of the Times Union, Bernadette Hogan of the New York Post, and others on December 13, 2020.
Azzopardi sent the files “just hours” after Boylan tweeted that the governor had sexually harassed her, the investigation report said. The senior Cuomo adviser also sent the documents to Zack Budryk of The Hill, Marcia Kramer of CBS, and Zack Fink of NY1 News the next day.
The confidential files were accompanied by a statement from Cuomo press secretary Caitlin Girouard that there “is simply no truth to these claims” against the governor, the report said.
The files contained complaints against Boylan, according to the report.
“Witnesses involved in disclosing the Confidential Files testified that the complainants’ names were redacted with WiteOut before they were sent to reporters,” the report said.
Azzopardi told investigators that the Executive Chamber disclosed the files “in order to correct demonstrably false information” about Boylan’s departure from the Chamber.
The investigation also found that beginning around December 15, 2020, “the Governor and a group of advisors worked on a draft letter or op-ed” which attempted to tie Boylan to supporters of former President Donald Trump.
“The various drafts of this letter included complaints against Ms. Boylan that were part of the Confidential Files,” the investigation found. “The drafts also discussed alleged interactions between Ms. Boylan and male colleagues other than the Governor.”
“The letter denied the legitimacy of Ms. Boylan’s allegations, impugned her credibility, and attacked her claims as politically motivated (including with theories about connections with supporters of President Trump and a politician with an alleged interest in running for Governor),” the investigation found.
Cuomo’s officials internally argued over the contents of the letter, and it was ultimately not published, according to the investigation.
Boylan originally accused Cuomo of sexual harassment in a December tweet thread. She later shared details of her allegations in a Medium post, describing Cuomo’s behavior and workplace as riddled with “pervasive harassment.”
“He made unflattering comments about the weight of female colleagues,” she said. “He ridiculed them about their romantic relationships and significant others. He said the reasons that men get women were ‘money and power.’”
Boylan said she tried to excuse Cuomo’s alleged behavior until the governor allegedly kissed her without her consent during a one-on-one briefing.
“We were in his New York City office on Third Avenue,” she said. “As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips. I was in shock, but I kept walking.”
“After that, my fears worsened,” Boylan said. “I came to work nauseous every day. My relationship with his senior team — mostly women — grew hostile after I started speaking up for myself. I was reprimanded and told to get in line by his top aides, but I could no longer ignore it.”
Boylan did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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