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Former Andrew Cuomo Staffer Sues For Sexual Harassment, Discrimination

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Trevor Schakohl Legal Reporter
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A onetime staffer of former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo entered a lawsuit Wednesday against him and three other staffers, claiming sexual harassment and sex discrimination.

Charlotte Bennett served as Cuomo’s briefer or senior briefer and executive assistant from May 2019 to June 2020. Her lawsuit says he made sexual comments about her appearance, gave her humiliating and demeaning assignments and invasively questioned her about personal matters including her sexual assault survival.

Cuomo’s then-Chief of Staff Jill DesRosiers transferred Bennett to an inferior position when she told her about Cuomo’s sexual harassment instead of taking appropriate corrective action, Bennett alleges. DesRosiers, Cuomo’s former Special Counsel Judith Mogul and then-Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa purportedly failed to ask the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations to investigate Bennett’s sexual harassment complaint as required.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: Secretary to Governor Melissa DeRosa attends during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. The Governor said the state liquor authority has suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses for violations of social distancing rules as public officials try to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 23: Secretary to Governor Melissa DeRosa attends during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

Bennett’s lawsuit accuses Cuomo and all three staffers of sex-based discrimination. (RELATED: Andrew Cuomo Personally Edited Report That Undercounted COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths And Downplayed Impact Of His March 25 Directive)

“Investigators substantiated Charlotte Bennett’s allegations and found them to be part of a pattern and practice of sexually harassing behavior by Cuomo,” one of Bennett’s lawyers Debra Katz said in a press release sent to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Those around him enabled him, placated him, and covered up his egregious behavior, managing out women who complained about his misconduct rather than insisting that their complaints be investigated as the law require.”

Cuomo resigned in August 2021 after New York Attorney General Letitia James unveiled an investigative report finding he sexually harassed more than ten different women, The Associated Press reported. The report detailed his alleged sexual harassment of Bennett.

Criminal charges against Cuomo were dropped in January, according to the The New York Times.

Bennett isn’t the first to sue Cuomo for sexual harassment. He sued James in August for denying a him state-funded private counsel in a female former member of his security detail’s sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination lawsuit naming him as a defendant.

Cuomo’s attorney Rita Glavin did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

This story has been updated with comment from Charlotte Bennett’s attorney.

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