Andrew Cuomo's current aide Alyssa McGrath is the latest to join a chorus of women in accusing the New York Governor of sexual harassment. McGrath, 33, reportedly said that Cuomo, 63, ogled her body, called her and her co-worker "mingle mamas" and asked about her lack of a wedding ring.
According to a New York Times report, McGrath also told the outlet that one of the former aides and a Cuomo accuser also confided to her how the Democrat touched her breast under her blouse inside the Executive Mansion late last year. The outlet conducted multiple rounds of interviews with McGrath over the past week in which she described the governor's pattern of flirtatious banter.
McGrath told the New York Times that Cuomo once looked down her shirt to compliment her on her necklace, told her that she's beautiful in Italian and then kissed her on the forehead during an office Christmas party in 2019. And he did that in the presence of another aide. In fact, the governor also made suggestive comments to her.
McGrath didn't accuse Cuomo of making sexual contact, but characterized his actions as sexual harassment. Besides, McGrath said that one of the former aides also confided to her how Cuomo touched her breast under her blouse inside the Executive Mansion late last year.
McGrath is the eighth woman to have now accused Cuomo of sexual harassment and misconduct in less than a month, while the former aide who said that the governor groped her breast in the Executive Mansion last year was the sixth. "She froze when he started doing that stuff to her," McGrath told the outlet, adding, "But who are you going to tell?"
McGrath said that the co-worker, with whom she regularly spoke and talked to about interactions with Cuomo, told her that the governor had asked her not to talk about the alleged incident.
"He told her specifically not to tell me," McGrath said.
McGrath said that sexual harassment and Cuomo are synonymous. "He has a way of making you feel very comfortable around him, almost like you're his friend," McGrath said. "But then you walk away from the encounter or conversation, in your head going, 'I can't believe I just had that interaction with the governor of New York,'" she said.
McGrath said she was summoned to Cuomo's office on the second floor of Executive Mansion in early 2019. Cuomo then asked her if she spoke Italian and then made a comment to her in the language.
Although McGrath is of Italian heritage, she doesn't speak the language. So, she asked her parents what the phrase meant - and her mother explained it to her. "It was commenting on how beautiful I was,' McGrath said.
Rita Glavin, a lawyer for Cuomo, responded to McGrath's allegations by admitting he uses Italian phrases like "ciao bella."
McGrath has been working in Cuomo's office for quite some time now. According to the outlet, her name is listed on SeeThroughNY, a database of public employees maintained by the Empire Center, as being a confidential stenographer with a pay rate of $47,000 in 2018. In 2019, she was paid $64,383 as an administrative assistant.
LinkedIn and social media accounts that now seems to have been deleted list her as an Executive Assistant in The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and she told the NYT that Cuomo's behavior began soon after she was hired in May 2018.
However, at the same time all the aides joining Cuomo's office are brief to keep silent about what happened at their workplace. "We were told right off the bat, as soon as we walk out of the office or as soon as we walk away from the governor, we were not to say a word about anything to anyone," she said.
Friday's report makes McGrath the first current state employee to publicly accuse Cuomo of sexual misconduct amid a spiraling series of allegations that have prompted widespread calls for an independent investigation and his immediate resignation.
However, Cuomo has so far denied most of the allegations although he has vowed to cooperate with the investigators.