Another ex-aide calls Cuomo’s office conduct inappropriate

Several women have spoken of feeling sexually harassed, or made to feel demeaned and uncomfortable by the New York Governor.

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo

Another woman who worked for Andrew Cuomo has described conduct from the New York Governor she felt was inappropriate for the workplace.

Ana Liss, 35, told The Wall Street Journal that when she worked as a policy aide to the governor between 2013 and 2015, Mr Cuomo called her “sweetheart”, once kissed her hand, and asked personal questions, including whether she had a boyfriend. She said he sometimes greeted her with a hug and a kiss on both cheeks.

Ms Liss told the Journal she initially thought of Mr Cuomo’s behaviour as harmless, but it grew to disturb her. She felt it was patronising.

“It’s not appropriate, really, in any setting,” she said. “I wish that he took me seriously.”

A spokesman for Mr Cuomo did not immediately return a request for comment from the Associated Press, but told the Journal that some of the behaviour Ms Liss was described was the kind of innocent glad-handing that politicians often do at public events.

“Reporters and photographers have covered the governor for 14 years, watching him kiss men and women and posing for pictures,” said Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Mr Cuomo.

Cuomo Sexual Harassment
Demonstrators rally for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation in front of his Manhattan office in New York on Tuesday, (Brittainy Newman/AP)

“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.”

Ms Liss said she never made a formal complaint about the governor’s behaviour.

Mr Cuomo’s workplace conduct has been under intense scrutiny in recent days as several women have publicly told of feeling sexually harassed, or at least made to feel demeaned and uncomfortable by the Democrat.

Former adviser Lindsey Boylan, 36, said Mr Cuomo made inappropriate comments on her appearance, once kissed her on the lips at the end of a meeting and suggested a game of strip poker as they sat with other aides on a jet flight.

Another former aide, Charlotte Bennett, 25, said Mr Cuomo asked if she ever had sex with older men and made other comments she interpreted as gauging her interest in an affair.

Another woman, who did not work for the state, described Mr Cuomo putting his hands on her face and asking if he could kiss her after they met at a wedding.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Mr Cuomo denied ever touching anyone inappropriately, but apologised for behaving in a way he now realised upset women with whom he worked.

He said he had made jokes and asked personal questions in an attempt to be playful and frequently greeted people with hugs and kisses, as his father, Mario Cuomo, had done when he was governor.

“I understand sensitivities have changed. Behaviour has changed,” Mr Cuomo said. “I get it and I’m going to learn from it.”

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