Lindsey Boylan says that even before she began working for a state development agency in New York, people warned her to watch out for Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In an essay posted on Medium Wednesday, she describes the sexual harassment she experienced in the following years, which she says started soon after she first met the Democratic governor in early 2016 and her boss told her Cuomo had a "crush" on her. Boylan says she complained to friends that Cuomo would "go out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs." She says Cuomo asked senior staff to keep track of her whereabouts and started calling her "Lisa," after a rumored former girlfriend a staffer told Boylan she resembled. She says that when she was promoted to Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Special Advisor to the Governor, she accepted only on the condition that she keep her office on a separate floor from Cuomo and his inner circle.
Boyland, whose Medium post includes screenshots of email and text messages, says the Democratic governor's inappropriate behavior included a suggestion of playing strip poker and an unwanted kiss on the lips after a one-on-one briefing. She says that when a Cuomo staffer told her the governor had requested a private meeting in his office during a 2016 gathering, she was so afraid of what might happen that she called her husband. Boylan, who resigned in 2018, says that in the culture of Cuomo's administration, "sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected." She says that after she first tweeted about the harassment in December, other women have reached out to tell her about similar experiences. "Telling my truth isn’t about seeking revenge," she writes. "I was proud to work in the Cuomo Administration. For so long I had looked up to the Governor. But his abusive behavior needs to stop." (Read the full post.)