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Cuomo ‘grooming’ claims should’ve been probed: Charlotte Bennett’s lawyer

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett’s lawyer expressed outrage toward his aides for allegedly telling her there was no need to investigate him because his inappropriate behavior never got past the “grooming” stage.

Bennett’s lawyer, Debra Katz said Friday night that Cuomo’s staff was required by law to investigate the allegations.

“When she said, ‘I am terrified, I don’t want you to investigate,’ what they should’ve said is, ‘We have a legal duty to investigate,’” Katz said during an explosive interview on “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell.”

Bennett, in an interview that also aired on the program, revealed that she had complained about Cuomo’s behavior to his special counsel Judith Mogul and chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, during a meeting last June.

She was told, “You came to us before anything serious happened. It was just grooming, and it was not yet considered sexual harassment so for that we do not need to investigate,’” Bennett claimed.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Bennett claimed DesRosiers, Mogul or someone else in the room made the statement.

charlotte bennett andrew cuomo
New York Post cover for March 6, 2021

“The law he signed himself makes clear that sexual harassment includes creating conditions that make someone feel uncomfortable because you’re sexually propositioning them,” Katz added.

She was referring to a law the governor signed in 2019 that made it easier to prove sexual harassment.

Cuomo has issued a partial apology after Bennett and two other women came forward recently with allegations that he sexually harassed them, but continues to deny his behavior ever turned physical or rose to the level where he would resign.

New York state lawmakers moved Friday to rescind the emergency powers they granted to the Democratic to handle the coronavirus pandemic as outrage over his sexual harassment and nursing home cover-up scandals continues to mount.

Mogul countered Bennett’s CBS interview in a statement to The Post.

“As the documents will reflect, I acted consistent with the information provided, the requirements of the law and Charlotte’s wishes,” she said.

Also on Friday, Katz sent a letter to state Attorney General Letitia James asking her to make sure Cuomo’s senior staff preserve evidence related to Bennett’s sexual harassment claims.

“This concern was heightened by recent news report that Governor Cuomo’s top aides rewrote a government report to conceal the state’s high death toll from COVID-19,” the lawyer wrote.

Katz was referring to news from Thursday night that Cuomo’s top advisers pushed state health officials to omit from a public report the number of nursing home residents who died in hospitals from COVID-19.

Cuomo Charlotte Bennett
Bennett, who started working for Gov. Cuomo as an entry-level aide in January 2019, said she “loved my job” before the alleged sexual harassment.
CBS



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