Andrew Cuomo has used $285,000 of campaign funds to pay legal bills in his fight against the sexual harassment allegations brought by multiple women, a new report claims.
Documents filed Friday with the state Board of Elections, and seen by the New York Post, reveal the New York governor paid lawyer Rita Glavin $111,774 on May 3 for ‘professional services’ after hiring her to defend him in the scandal.
One month later on June 2, the governor paid out another $173,098 in campaign cash to her law firm – the very same day Cuomo told reporters political donations were not going toward his legal costs ‘at this time’.
Cuomo hired Glavin to represent him as claims of sexual harassment, misconduct and inappropriate behavior started to mount against him earlier this year.
The release of the documents comes ahead of a weekend where the governor is expected to be questioned for the first time over the flurry of allegations.
During the early days of the pandemic, Cuomo was lauded for his handling of the crisis in the virus epicenter of the world, with his daily press briefings even earning him an Emmy.
But the governor’s reputation has unraveled in recent months as nine women have now come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied the allegations saying he ‘never touched anyone inappropriately’ and ‘never made any inappropriate advances’ but has apologized for making anyone feel ‘uncomfortable.’
Meanwhile, he has also been rocked by the COVID-19 nursing home deaths scandal and pointed questions have arisen over the writing of his controversial memoir and the alleged special treatment afforded to his friends and family in the early days of the pandemic.
Andrew Cuomo (pictured on Wednesday) has used $285,000 of campaign funds to pay his legal bills in his fight against the sexual harassment allegations brought by multiple women, according to a report
Documents filed Friday with the state Board of Elections reveal the New York governor paid lawyer Rita Glavin $111,774 on May 3 for ‘professional services’ and another $173,098 on June 2
Cuomo’s first accuser Lindsey Boylan, 36, retweeted a post from New York Times journalist Luis Ferré-Sadurní Friday, featuring a screengrab of the expenses and detailing the distinction between what the governor said at the time and what the filings show.
The two payments are listed as paid by ‘Andrew Cuomo for New York, Inc.’ and paid to ‘Glavin PLLC.’
Boylan wrote alongside the post: ‘*pretends to be shocked*.’
Glavin, a former US Justice Department official, first represented Cuomo when the first current aide in his office went on the record with allegations against him.
The aide, Alyssa McGrath, told The New York Times Cuomo had flirted with her, looked down her shirt and commented on her appearance by calling her ‘beautiful’ in Italian.
In the June 2 press conference, Cuomo denied hiring private counsel to represent him in the various investigations he is facing.
The governor said it was standard practice for investigations into a state official to be paid for by the state.
‘The Executive Chamber has retained the counsel and that is a state expense,’ he told reporters.
Cuomo hired Glavin (pictured) to represent him as claims of sexual harassment, misconduct and inappropriate behavior started to mount against him earlier this year
One of Cuomo’s accusers Lindsay Boylan retweeted a post from New York Times journalist Luis Ferré-Sadurní, writing ‘*pretends to be shocked*’
‘That has been in every investigation. So that’s where we are now.’
When asked if he was using or planned to use campaign funds for personal legal expenses, he responded: ‘Not at this time.’
Investigators are expected to question Cuomo this weekend about the sexual harassment allegations against him in a sign that the state’s probe may be reaching its final stages.
The state hired two outside lawyers, Joon H. Kim and Anne L. Clark, to lead the investigation into Cuomo – which is being overseen by Attorney General Letitia James, The New York Times reported.
Kim and Clark are expected to interview Cuomo in Albany on Saturday four months after investigations into him began, sources told the outlet.
Investigators were always expected to speak with Cuomo, who said at the start of the probe in March that he would ‘fully cooperate.’ Cuomo is also facing an impeachment inquiry in the state assembly.
Kim and Clark have gathered testimony from several of the women who have accused him as part of the investigation.
Cuomo initially apologized and said he ‘learned an important lesson’ about his behavior around women, though he’s since denied he did anything wrong and questioned the motivations of accusers.
He has also rebuffed calls to step aside over the allegations.
‘We have said repeatedly that the governor doesn’t want to comment on this review until he has cooperated, but the continued leaks are more evidence of the transparent political motivation of the attorney general’s review,’ Cuomo senior advisor Richard Azzopardi said.
The investigation is being overseen by Attorney General Letitia James, pictured
Azzopardi’s statement Thursday was the second time that Cuomo’s top spokesperson has claimed that James, also a Democrat, and her probe were politically motivated.
In April, Azzopardi blasted James for confirming that her office was also investigating whether Cuomo broke the law by having members of his staff help write and promote his recent memoir ‘American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the Covid-19 Pandemic’.
‘Both the comptroller and the attorney general have spoken to people about running for governor and it is unethical to wield criminal referral authority to further political self-interest,’ Azzopardi said at the time.
Some of Cuomo’s top allies in the state legislature have called on the public to await the results of James’ investigation and not to undermine her integrity.
State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, a Bronx Democrat, said he trusts the independent investigators selected by James, and said that ‘their credibility and professionalism can’t be questioned.’
Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide, came out in December with allegations against him – she further detailed her experience in a February post to Medium
Charlotte Bennett, 25, accused Cuomo of propositioning her in his office last June
‘There was a sense from people early on that because the governor was so instrumental in helping her become AG that she would then become responsive to his political needs,’ Rivera, who chairs the state senate’s health committee said,
‘Now she’s proven over and over again that she’s responsible to the people of the state of New York.’
Sen. John Liu, Majority Assistant Whip in the state Senate, said that Azzopardi’s statement is the ‘typical Cuomo playbook.’
‘Those kinds of comments, trying to run interference, trying to deflect, trying to implicate at least politically — my read of it is that folks in the governor’s circle including the governor are at least nervous and at most running terrified,’ said Liu, a Democrat who’s called on Cuomo to resign.
‘Obviously, Cuomo’s trying to undermine the AG,’ Liu said. ‘I think because he is in a precarious situation, he’d be trying to undermine anybody who is investigating him.’
This year’s legislative session has concluded, but lawmakers could return later in the summer or fall if the probe winds up.
‘I don’t have a sense of a clear timeframe,’ Liu said. ‘I think Tish James is being as thorough as she can, knowing that no matter what she will be accused of politics. But I I think she’s conducting a thorough investigation and looking at all the facts, and I look forward to her conclusions and recommendations.’
The state assembly’s judiciary committee has launched its own probe into whether there are grounds to impeach the governor on issues from sexual misconduct to his $5 million book deal.
It’s also unclear when the Assembly probe will wrap up, but it’s likely that it won’t be before James’ investigation concludes.
Alyssa McGrath said Cuomo ogled her body, called her and her co-worker ‘mingle mamas’ and asked about her lack of a wedding ring as well calling her beautiful in Italian
She also claimed Cuomo looked down her shirt to compliment her on her necklace during a meeting with him
Anna Ruch has accused Cuomo of inappropriate behavior
Karen Hinton (left), a press aide, and Jessica Bakeman accused Cuomo of inappropriate actions
At least one accuser has said she only wants to speak with investigators in the attorney general’s probe rather than sit through two separate interviews.
‘The AG’s report is going to be critical,’ Liu said. ‘The attorney general’s report and recommendations will carry a great deal of weight.’
Boylan was the first woman to accuse the governor in social media posts back in December.
She worked for Cuomo’s team from March 2015 to October 2018.
Boylan claims the governor kissed her on the lips and suggested they play a game of strip poker.
The governor has denied these allegations.
After she came forward with the accusations, the governor’s office released her personnel records which included disciplinary recommendations against her and allegations of bullying.
Boylan has said her personnel material was leaked in an effort to smear her.
Since she came forward, at least eight other women have accused the governor of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.
The state hired two outside lawyers, Joon H. Kim, left, and Anne L. Clark, right, to lead the investigation into Cuomo. Kim and Clark are expected to interview Cuomo, 63, in Albany on Saturday four months after investigations into him began
New York state Sen Alessandra Biaggi (right) branded Andrew Cuomo (right) a ‘monster’ as politicians on both sides of the aisle turn their backs on the governor after he was accused of sexual harassment by a second former aide
Biaggi, chair of the Senate Ethics and Internal Governance Committee, led lawmakers in condemning Cuomo on Saturday
Meanwhile, the sex pest probe is just one in a ballooning number of investigations into the embattled governor.
The governor is being investigated over claims he covered up COVID-19 deaths in the state’s nursing homes after it emerged the numbers released to the public showed only half the number of fatalities.
A separate inquiry is also underway in relation to his memoir book to determine whether Cuomo unlawfully abused state resources, including staffers, to draft and promote it.
Cuomo’s office has insisted staffers who worked on the book did so voluntarily.
Investigators are also looking into whether Cuomo misused public resources by giving his family preferential COVID-19 testing in the early days of the pandemic when testing was not widespread.
The women who’ve accused Gov Andrew Cuomo of harassment
Lindsay Boylan, 36
Former aide Lindsay Boylan, 36, was the first woman to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment in a Medium post on February 24. She claimed that the governor asked her to play strip poker and kissed her on the lips without her permission when she worked for him in 2017.
Lindsay Boylan, 36
Charlotte Bennett, 25
Charlotte Bennett, 25, came forward a few days after Boylan and claimed that Cuomo sexually harassed her last June while she was working as a health policy adviser in his administration at the height of the COVID-19 crisis.
Bennett accused Cuomo of ‘grooming’ her and asking inappropriate questions about her sex life.
She also claimed that he told her he was open to dating women in their 20s.
BENNETT said the governor asked her about her love life – including whether she ever had sex with older men – and talked about his own, saying that age differences didn’t matter in relationships and he was open to dating women over 22.
During a meeting alone in his office, the governor said he was lonely and talked about wanting to hug someone, Bennett said.
She said she swiftly complained to Cuomo’s chief of staff and was transferred to another job.
She said she spoke to a lawyer for the governor, but didn´t insist on further action because she liked her new post and wanted to move on.
Charlotte Bennett, 25
Anna Ruch, 33
Anna Ruch was the third woman to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment and the only one thus far who did not work with him in a professional capacity. She claimed that Cuomo put his hands on her face and asked if he could kiss her just moments after they met at a September 2019 wedding in Manhattan.
Anna Ruch, 33
Ana Liss, 35
Ana Liss, 35, a former aide, said Cuomo asked her whether she had a boyfriend, once kissed her hand at her desk and called her by patronizing names, including ‘blondie,’ ‘sweetheart’ and ‘honey.’
At a reception, the governor hugged her then put his arm around her lower back and waist as they posed for photo, Liss said.
She said she eventually asked for a job transfer. In an interview, Liss said she was ‘not claiming sexual harassment per se,’ but felt the administration ‘wasn’t a safe space for young women to work.’
Liss, who previously served as Cuomo’s policy and operations aide between 2013 and 2015, told the Wall Street Journal that during her time in his administration, the governor had subjected her to unsolicited advances, including touching her lower back, kissing her hand and quizzing her about her love life.
Ana Liss, 35
Karen Hinton, 62
The oldest allegations against Cuomo came from Karen Hinton, who served as a press aide for him when he led the US Department of Housing and Urban Development two decades ago and she was a consultant for the agency. Hinton told the Washington Post about a 2000 incident when she said Cuomo summoned her to his ‘dimly lit’ hotel room and embraced her after a work event. She said she tried to pull away from Cuomo when he pulled her back and held her before she managed to escape the room.
Karen Hinton, 62
Unnamed sixth accuser
The most damning allegations leveled against Cuomo to date came from a sixth accuser, whose name has not been released.
The accuser, who is a member of Cuomo’s staff, alleged that he closed a door, reached under her blouse and fondled her after summoning her to the governor’s mansion in Albany for help with his cellphone, according to the Times Union of Albany.
It first reported on her accusation last month; she then gave more detail in her first interview on the matter, published Wednesday.
The woman spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect her privacy, although her identity is known within the governor´s circle, the Times Union reported.
The woman, an executive assistant, told the Times Union the governor gave her kisses on the cheek and inappropriately tight hugs for years and made remarks including, ‘If you were single, the things that I would do to you’ and ‘I’m single and ready to mingle.’
Then, one day in November, she was summoned to his Executive Mansion office to help him with a cellphone problem, she said.
He got up from his desk, started groping her and told her ‘I don’t care’ after she tried to deflect him by saying he was going to get them into trouble, and then he slammed the door, she said.
Then he reached under her blouse and clutched one of her breasts over her bra, she told the newspaper.
The woman told a colleague this winter about the alleged encounter, and the co-worker told a supervisor in early March, according to the newspaper.
Cuomo called the report ‘gut-wrenching’ in a March statement and said: ‘I have never done anything like this.’
Another female aide, who has remained anonymous, claimed he called her to his Executive Mansion last year, reached under her blouse and fondled her
Jessica Bakeman claimed in a first-person article for New York Magazine that she was sexually harassed by Cuomo on several occasions since the start of her journalism career in 2012.
Bakeman added her voice as the seventh accuser as she detailed inappropriate touching by the governor as he continued to deny all of the claims.
‘He took my hand, as if to shake it, then refused to let go,’ Bakeman wrote of an interaction with Cuomo as she said goodnight at a holiday party in 2014 when she was only 25 years old.
‘He put his other arm around my back, his hand on my waist, and held me firmly in place while indicating to a photographer he wanted us to pose for a picture.’
At the time Bakeman had been working for what is now Politico New York and claimed that red flags went up as her ‘job was to analyze and scrutinize him’.
‘I didn’t want a photo of him with his hands on my body and a smile on my face,’ she wrote.
Jessica Bakeman, a reporter who once covered the Cuomo administration, was the seventh woman to come forward with claims of harassment
‘But I made the reflexive assessment that most women and marginalized people know instinctively, the calculation about risk and power and self-preservation. I knew it would be far easier to smile for the brief moment it takes to snap a picture than to challenge one of the most powerful men in the country.’
In an earlier 2012 incident while she was working for USA Today, Bakeman also claims that Cuomo kept her pinned to his side as he told a story to her male colleagues.
‘He left it there, and kept me pinned next to him, for several minutes as he finished telling his story,’ she said. ‘I stood there, my cheeks hot, giggling nervously as my male colleagues did the same. We all knew it was wrong, but we did nothing.’
The reporter, who now works in Florida, claimed that Cuomo ‘never let me forget I was a woman’ as she also alleged that he made frequent attempts to humiliate her, including calling out her purple phone instead of answering her question during a press gaggle.
Alyssa McGrath, 33
McGrath, a current administrative assistant in Cuomo’s office, told The New York Times that he looked down her shirt, quizzed her about her marital status, and told her she was beautiful, using an Italian phrase she had to ask her parents to interpret.
McGrath didn’t say the governor made sexual contact with her but thought his behavior was sexual harassment.
She recalled Cuomo kissing her on the forehead and gripping her firmly around the sides while posing for a photo at a 2019 office Christmas party.
Alyssa McGrath (pictured) is one of two aides who have come forward to accuse the governor of harassment
Sherry Vill, 55
Sherry Vill, 55, accused Cuomo of sexual misconduct during a press conference with her attorney Gloria Allred on Monday.
She alleges Cuomo grabbed her face and kissed her ‘aggressively and in a sexual manner’ on both cheeks in May 2017 while he was touring her home in Greece, near Rochester, as he inspected local flood damage.
Vill, who said she felt uncomfortable at the time, shared an image her daughter took on the day that showed Cuomo holding her face as he kissed her cheek and her attorney held up multiple photos showing the Governor inside her home.
The same photos appear on Cuomo’s Flickr account, as well as multiple others that show him kissing and greeting residents as he toured the town.
None of the women in the other photos have accused the governor of inappropriate behavior or wrongdoing.
Sherry Vill, 55, accused Cuomo of sexual misconduct on Monday. Vill, who said she felt uncomfortable at the time, shared an image her daughter took on the day that showed Cuomo holding her face as he kissed her cheek
Andrew Cuomo used $285k campaign funds to pay legal bills as he fights sexual harassment allegations