Another former aide to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo described multiple uncomfortable incidents with the governor, saying that Cuomo hired her based on her appearance after meeting her at a party.
The aide, who identified herself only as Kaitlin, told New York Magazine’s Intelligencer that she met Cuomo at a party in 2016 shortly after she was hired by a lobbying firm. Cuomo reportedly approached Kaitlin, who introduced herself and told the governor she used to work for a Democratic politician.
Cuomo allegedly told her that she would be back in government at the state level soon, she said. Kaitlin noted that this statement confused her.
“Then he grabbed me in a kind of dance pose,” she told the Intelligencer, adding that a photographer took a picture of them. “I was thinking, ‘This is the weirdest interaction I’ve ever had in my life’ … I was like, ‘Don’t touch me.’ Everybody was watching.”
Kaitlin said her new co-workers joked to her, “Oh the governor likes you,” and said she was both embarrassed and uncomfortable that the incident happened in front of “my whole team of people I’d just met.”
Though she had not given Cuomo’s office her contact information, his office reportedly called Kaitlin later that week and asked to interview her for a job. Kaitlin told the Intelligencer that she informed her bosses about the situation, who understood but said she must take the meeting since he was the governor.
“We all knew that this was only because of what I looked like,” Kaitlin told the Intelligencer. “Why else would you ask someone to come in two days after you had a two-minute interaction at a party?”
Kaitlin began working for Cuomo’s office, where she described attempting to copy senior staffers and understand Cuomo’s quickly changing moods. She said sometimes Cuomo would leave for work earlier than scheduled, prompting her to rush to work with wet hair to be there before he arrived.
Cuomo commented on her bedraggled appearance on these occasions, she said.
“You decided not to get ready today?” he would allegedly ask her, or, “You didn’t put makeup on today?”
Kaitlin described one incident where Cuomo asked her to look up car parts on eBay on his office computer.
“He sat at his desk and angled his chair around,” she said.“So I was standing there, in a skirt and heels, having to bend over his computer, with him looking at me, and me looking up car parts.”
Cuomo’s office told the Intelligencer that Cuomo “is notoriously technologically inept — male and female staffers have for years assisted the governor with his computer.”
Kaitlin also said that she witnessed Cuomo ask staffers to track down a woman he had met at a Super Bowl party who had a dove tattooed on her hand. Cuomo reportedly wanted staffers to find the woman and offer her a job, Kaitlin said, comparing the situation to how she herself was hired.
Cuomo faces two separate investigations: one by the attorney general’s office into allegations of workplace sexual misconduct, and another from the Department of Justice into his role in undercounting nursing home deaths in New York.
The majority of the New York Democratic congressional delegation called for Cuomo’s resignation in coinciding statements Friday morning, including House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler, House Oversight chair Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Jamal Bowman, Rep. Mondaire Jones, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Yvette Clark, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Rep. Nydia Velasquez, Rep. Anthony Delgado, Rep. Brian Higgins and Rep. Sean Maloney.
On a Friday afternoon press call, Cuomo denied that he “had a sexual relationship that was inappropriate” and called for lawmakers to await the results of the investigations. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Kaitlin’s allegations.