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Politics

Cuomo: 'At work sometimes I think I am being playful'


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks throughout a information convention at a Covid-19 vaccination website in New York Metropolis on Feb. 22, 2021. | Seth Wenig, Pool/AP Picture

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has supplied his most detailed response but to allegations that he sexually harassed two staffers, saying that his feedback had been supposed to be “good natured.”

In an announcement launched Sunday night, the governor stated he likes to “tease folks in what I think is an effective natured method … I now perceive that my interactions might have been insensitive or too private and that a few of my feedback, given my place, made others really feel in methods I by no means supposed.”

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A member of a Sexual Harassment Working Group in New York, Erica Vladimer, replied to the governor’s assertion in a tweet: “That is a completely disgusting, gaslighting response,” she wrote. “No possession of his actions, blaming his victims for ‘misinterpreting’ his ‘playfulness.’”

In the meantime, Cuomo’s workplace made its third proposal in lower than 24 hours about find out how to conduct an impartial investigation into his workplace after a second former staffer informed The New York Instances on Saturday night time that Cuomo had harassed her.

Cuomo counsel Beth Garvey initially stated Cuomo would appoint a former choose to look into the allegations. When that went over poorly, she pitched a brand new plan by which Legal professional Basic Tish James and Chief Choose Janet DiFiore would collectively appoint an investigator. James rejected that concept, saying she wished a referral that might give her workplace subpoena energy within the matter.

On Sunday night, Garvey stated James alone will likely be requested to nominate a “certified personal lawyer” to deal with the investigation. That lawyer and “different attorneys from the appointed lawyer’s agency” could be totally deputized to conduct the probe.

James agreed to such a setup later within the night.

“This isn’t a accountability we take flippantly,” she stated in an announcement. “We are going to rent a regulation agency, deputize them as attorneys of our workplace, and oversee a rigorous and impartial investigation.”

Right here is the total assertion from Cuomo:

“Questions have been raised about a few of my previous interactions with folks within the workplace.

“I by no means supposed to offend anybody or trigger any hurt. I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are sometimes additionally private mates.

“At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are humorous. I do, every so often, tease folks in what I think is an effective natured method. I do it in public and in personal. You’ve gotten seen me do it at briefings tons of of occasions. I have teased folks about their private lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I imply no offense and solely try so as to add some levity and banter to what’s a really critical enterprise.

“I now perceive that my interactions might have been insensitive or too private and that a few of my feedback, given my place, made others really feel in methods I by no means supposed. I acknowledge among the issues I have stated have been misinterpreted as an undesirable flirtation. To the extent anybody felt that method, I am actually sorry about that.

“To be clear I by no means inappropriately touched anyone and I by no means propositioned anyone and I by no means supposed to make anybody really feel uncomfortable, however these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve solutions to.

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“That is why I have requested for an outdoor, impartial overview that appears at these allegations.

“Individually, my workplace has heard anecdotally that some folks have reached out to Ms. Bennett to specific displeasure about her coming ahead. My message to anybody doing that’s you might have misjudged what issues to me and my administration and you must cease now — interval.”

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