On Twitter, a former Cuomo aide claims sexual harassment from the governor

ALBANY – A former aide to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo claimed in a tweet on Sunday morning that the governor was “sexually harassed for years.”

The indictment was brought by Lindsey Boylan, who from 2015 to 2018 worked as Cuomo’s deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser. In recent days, Boylan has complained on social media about the work environment he experienced in the executive chamber.

“Yes, @NYGovCuomo has been sexually harassed for years, “Boylan wrote on a Twitter thread dedicated to sexual harassment at work.” Many saw and watched. I could never foresee what I could expect: whether they were grilling for my work (which was very good) or harassed by my appearance. Or will both be in the same conversation? He’s been like this for years. “

“We don’t know what to expect, which is the most annoying thing, apart from knowing that no one is doing a damn thing even when they see it,” the woman continued. “No one. And * I know * that I’m not the only woman. … I hate that some men, like @NYGovCuomo, abuse their power.”

A spokesman for the governor did not respond immediately to a request for comment on Sunday morning.

Boylan’s Sunday thread appeared a week after a Twitter thread describing a work environment where a handful of nearby Cuomo consultants exercise control and other people working in his office feel marginalized. He claimed that if you were not “one of those handfuls, your life for which you work for him will be infinitely frustrating”.

“If people weren’t afraid of him to death, they would say the same thing, and you would already know the stories,” Boylan wrote of the governor. “Seriously, the messages and texts I get when I tell the truth about it. … a whole book about the people who have been hurt.

The Times Union interviewed two women who had worked for the Cuomo’s executive chamber for more than a decade, but have since all left. The two were reached independently by the newspaper; they spoke on condition of anonymity because they were unaware of Boylan’s specific allegations of personal harassment, but they said the culture described by Boylan did not match their own experiences at the Cuomo.

“I’ve never seen you abuse or treat an employee.” I just never saw it. And for me … a lot could be said about the governor, but sexual harassment just makes my mind think. Said the first to work at the level of head of the executive chamber for a few years.

“Not saying that may not be true, but it’s very hard for me to believe,” he said.

The other said he “chewed his brain” all morning and wondered if he had ever heard that the governor was harassing a woman after seeing Boylan’s tweets and couldn’t come up with anyone.

Both women said working for the governor was demanding and a lot of stress and that Cuomo could be a tough boss. But he was told he gets this when he works at a high level of government.

Asked if Cuomo was talking sharply with the staff, one woman paused for a few seconds before slowly answering that she was “expecting a lot,” and pausing again, adding that she was demanding and definite.

“I’m not questioning someone for perceiving it as harassment,” he said, but instead perceived it as directness.

Boylan said on Twitter that he had tried to leave Cuomo’s office three times “before he got stuck.” He also suggested that he refused to sign some type of non-disclosure agreement when he left the job, stating that he had not signed “what I had to say to sign when I left”.

The two women recruited by the Times Union said they were not forced to stay, as Boylan said. They said they were never asked to sign the NDA and could not imagine asking him for anything else. One of them said they had a party on his departure attended by senior staff.

Boylan is in the midst of a political campaign and will run in the 2021 election as president of the Manhattan district. In June, Boylan lost the U.S. Congressional Democratic pre-election with incumbent U.S. MP Jerry Nadler.

“To be clear: I don’t care to talk to journalists,” he wrote in a next tweet alleging harassment. Boylan did not respond to a Times Union call or text after posting his first tweets on the subject last week.