The first woman to publicly accuse Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment plans to sue the governor, along with his inner circle for alleged attempts to smear and discredit her, according to a report.
Lindsey Boylan tweeted in December that Cuomo “sexually harassed me for years,” opening the floodgates of accusations that the governor behaved inappropriately with young female staffers.
On Wednesday, Boylan’s lawyer Jill Basinger told The New York Times that she will be litigating the claim.
“Because Lindsey was first, the governor needed to send a message,” Basinger reportedly said about the retaliations. “He needed to send a message to every other survivor out there that this is what happens when you go against the machine of the governor’s office.”
In the wake of Boylan’s accusation, Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi sent a Post reporter and several other journalists “confidential files” detailing workplace complaints against her, along with a formal statement denying the allegations.
Tuesday’s scathing 165-page report issued by the attorney general’s office said that top aide Melissa DeRosa, former Chief of Staff Jill Des Rosiers and outgoing counsel Judith Mogul dismissed and covered up the claims to protect the governor.
Boylan’s reported civil complaint comes as prosecutors in at least four New York counties have opened criminal investigations into accusations of forcible touching by the Democrat corroborated by the report.
Independent investigators found 11 women’s accusations of workplace sexual harassment, intimidation and unwanted touching to be credible, leading to a cascade of call’s for Cuomo’s resignation by former allies in his own party.
Cuomo has denied the accusations, but has not spoken to the press since the bombshell report was released, instead opting to hole up in the Governor’s Mansion to strategize a survival plan with his inner circle.
If the 63-year-old three-term governor resists calls to resign, he faces an impeachment inquiry by Albany lawmakers, the majority of whom have indicated they would vote to remove Cuomo from office.