Charlotte Bennett, a former aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said on Friday the governor had someone else take his sexual harassment training for him in 2019.
On Wednesday this week, Cuomo was asked if he took the sexual harassment training he mandated to all state employees in 2019. He said, "The short answer is, 'Yes.'"
"He did not take the sexual harassment training," Bennett said. "I was there. I heard Stephanie [Benton, Cuomo's office director] say, 'I can't believe I'm doing this for you,‘ and making a joke about the fact that she was completing the training for him. And I heard her, at the end, ask him to sign the certificate."
Benton "categorically denies this exchange" and said "this is not true," according to Beth Garvey, Cuomo's Special Counsel.
"I think [Cuomo] should start telling the truth," Bennett said. "But if this investigation finds that he has conducted himself in this way, which he absolutely has because I have contemporaneous evidence, he should step down."
Bennett also claims Cuomo harassed her and that she reported it to Cuomo's chief of staff "days after" the incident. Bennett was transferred to another job two days later.
"I sat down and pretty quickly just said, 'I love working here. I love you guys, but the governor crossed the line with me last week,' and [the chief of staff] asked me what I was referring to.
And I said, 'He said he was lonely. He said he wanted a girlfriend. He asked me if I had slept with older men. He told me he was willing to sleep with younger women.'"
In June 2020, Bennett met with Cuomo's chief of staff and general counsel.
"When I asked them if they could let it go, saying, 'I don't want this to be investigated. Please drop this,' you know, because I was scared," Bennett said. "She said, '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.'"