(WETM) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing more heat after a second former aide accused the governor of sexual harassment.
“Sexual harassment in the workplace is a very serious issue,” said Phil Palmesano, Assemblyman for NY 132nd District. “And there has to be absolutely no tolerance for it.”
Assemblyman Palmesano said the allegations from both Lindsey Boylan, 36, and Charlotte Bennett, 25, are serious and an independent investigation is needed.
“Nobody should ever be subjected to that type of treatment in the workplace or any place,” Asemblyman Palmesano said. “There should be zero tolerance for sexual harassment. These are very very serious allegations, and it certainly needs a thorough- very thorough, very independent investigation with subpoena power to compel testimony.”
In a press release, sent on Sunday, the governor said “I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny.” Gov. Cuomo also said he never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are calling for Governor Cuomo’s resignation.
New York’s 125th Assemblywoman, Anna Kelles said no one should be held on a pedestal and it’s our responsibility to keep our leaders accountable for their actions.
“There’s no language, no conversation, no question that asks about a woman’s private life-personal life that should ever be conflated as a joke,” Assemblywoman Kelles said. “That’s not a joke. That makes women uncomfortable. It’s inappropriate behavior and that’s locker room talk.”
Assemblywoman Kelles told 18 News, there is zero-tolerance for any type of inappropriate language like the governor used.
“If the language and discussion and terms that men use, when women are not present, is any different than what they use and how they talk when women are present then we have not reached equity,” Assemblywoman Kelles said. “We have not reached a place where there’s a safe space. Period. End of story. Zero tolerance.”
On Sunday, multiple New York Assemblywomen sent a joint statement about the allegations against Gov. Cuomo.
New York Attorney General, Letitia James will select a lawyer to conduct an independent investigation of the sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Cuomo.