Andrew Cuomo’s name signed by assistant, not him, on 2019 harassment training form: report

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In 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted a bill requiring all employers in the state to provide annual training to employees on workplace harassment issues.

But an October 2019 “attestation” form, which claims that the governor himself underwent such training, includes the handwritten name “Andrew Cuomo” and a signature scribbled at the bottom – both written by an assistant, not Cuomo, according to a report.

Using an assistant to sign the form on behalf of the governor raised questions as to whether Cuomo actually participated in the harassment training program, the Lower Hudson Valley Journal News reported. in New York State.

The newspaper’s report emerged following a New York Post article this week claiming Cuomo skipped work Wednesday to work on a rescue strategy for his political career, and coincided with an article from Albany (NY) Times Union on Friday, saying Cuomo’s most trusted advisers past and present have been working on plans for Cuomo to tackle the sexual harassment allegations against him.

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Some former collaborators, however, were stunned by Cuomo’s refusal to step down, Politico reported.

The assistant who signed the training form for Cuomo was identified as Stephanie Benton in the 165-page report by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, which accuses Cuomo of sexually harassing 11 women.

Cuomo, who faces a torrent of resignation calls – as well as promises from many New York lawmakers that they would impeach the Democrat if he didn’t – denied the allegations.

“She was the only one”

“(In) her sworn testimony, Ms Benton admitted that she was the one who signed the 2019 Sexual Harassment Training Certification Form for the Governor, after both claiming that the Governor had reviewed the material from training, ”James’s report states, according to The Journal News.

“Ms. Benton admitted that she was the one who signed the 2019 Sexual Harassment Training Certification Form for the Governor, after they both claimed the Governor had reviewed the training materials.”

– New York State GA Report on Governor Cuomo

On July 28, the attestation form and 17 pages of harassment training material were provided to the newspaper after USA Today Network New York, which includes The Journal News, requested the documents from the state in March, reported the newspaper.

The training material describes examples of workplace behaviors deemed inappropriate, according to the newspaper report.

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The Journal News notes that just days after Cuomo allegedly reviewed the training materials, they became obsolete because a new law went into effect on October 11, 2019, which lowered the standard for proving sexual harassment. The behavior would no longer need to be “severe or intrusive” to be illegal, according to the report.

The new lower standard was promulgated by Cuomo ahead of the date he allegedly took training, according to Anne Clark, a private lawyer who helped lead James’ investigation into the governor, the newspaper reported.

‘Meet and exceed by far’

Cuomo’s alleged conduct with his accusers, as described in James’ report, “clearly meets and far exceeds this standard,” Clark told Journal News, referring to the updated standard.

Cuomo told James’ office that he did not recall taking sexual harassment training any other year than 2019, the newspaper reported.

Charlotte Bennett, one of Cuomo’s accusers, told investigators she overheard a conversation in 2019 in which Benton claimed to have taken the training in Cuomo’s place – but Benton and Cuomo both said the governor told her. – even had completed the training, The Journal News reported.

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After James released his report into Cuomo’s alleged misconduct, the Democrat’s response this week included a pledge to improve sexual harassment training in the state.

“Now the state already has an advanced sexual harassment training program for all employees, including me,” Cuomo said. “But I want the New York State government to be a role model in the office, and I brought in an expert to design a new policy and procedures on sexual harassment, and to train the entire team. ‘team, including me. I accept responsibility and we are making changes. “



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