A “master of the dark art” is what now-governor of New York Andrew Cuomo is being described as by a former aide. This is not just any former aide, but was his press secretary way back when he was secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in former President Clinton’s administration. Behavior reaching so far back is certainly a “pattern” of Cuomo’s.
Karen Hinton, who served as Cuomo’s press secretary, wrote a scathing op-ed in The Daily Mail published Monday titled “The Andrew Cuomo I have known: A long pattern of harassing staffers, especially women.”
Hinton made public allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo in March, but he swiftly denied any such allegations. So, Hinton came back with the pen mightier than the sword. “Cuomo refused to hire a highly qualified woman for a HUD position because she was ‘not attractive enough’ for him, he told me…he hired a white guy.”
That incident “wasn’t sexual. It was gender discrimination, not a trivial offense” wrote Hinton. There were also cases “about power and control” such as when she witnessed Cuomo “flirt with and tease a young, attractive staffer at HUD who began to think Cuomo cared for her.”
“As a result, she and her boyfriend, who had worked for Cuomo, broke up. Cuomo’s flirt had been a payback move because the boyfriend had left his job without Cuomo’s permission. A few years later, the woman staffer reappeared in New York looking for a job, and Cuomo did nothing to help her.”
Hinton also said female staffers were bullied and publicly humiliated by Cuomo. “Studies have shown that toxic work environments for women grow after a male boss or co-worker commits multiple incidents of sexual harassment and abuse. Each incident may seem small at times, but they add up, creating a pattern…this has been the case with Andrew Cuomo, accused of sexual advances, abuse and harassment by at least 10 women, former and current staff in his office” wrote Hinton.