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Cuomo lawyers up amid #MeToo allegations

Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has chosen a former federal prosecutor and prominent white-collar defense attorney to deal with #MeToo allegations as well as a federal probe into whether the New York Democrat knowingly undercounted COVID-19 nursing home deaths.

Elkan Abramowitz will represent the governor and his closest aides in both the COVID-19 and alleged harassment matters, The Wall Street Journal reported. Abramowitz did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Cuomo announced Saturday that former federal judge Barbara S. Jones would investigate the harassment allegations, though Jones had worked with longtime Cuomo adviser Steven M. Cohen after she left her position as judge, according to The New York Times.

Amid criticism over his choice, Cuomo announced Sunday that New York Attorney General Letitia James and Judge Janet DiFiore, who sits on New York state’s highest court, would jointly choose who would investigate the allegations.

Two different former Cuomo employees, Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett, have accused the governor of sexual harassment in the workplace. Cuomo has denied the allegations and said that he is often “being playful” and making “jokes that I think are funny” with employees.

I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm,” the governor said in a Sunday statement. “I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are often also personal friends.” 

“I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way,” he said. “I do it in public and in private.”

“You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”

The governor said that he understands now that some of his interactions “may have been insensitive or too personal” and that given his position, some of his comments may have made others uncomfortable.

“I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation,” Cuomo said. “To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.”

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