Gov. Murphy calls harassment allegations against Gov. Cuomo 'deeply concerning'
Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that he supports the independent investigation into sexual harassment accusations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. that is being supervised by the New York attorney general.
“I don’t have any insights, but what I’ve read is deeply concerning. And deeply troubling,” the governor said.
Murphy shifted his stance on Cuomo Monday, after declining to comment on the allegations Friday.
Meanwhile, New Jersey lawmakers have passed bills designed to help protect women who come forward with allegations, no matter who the claims are made against.
“Women should not have to put up with ‘playful atmosphere’ in their professional lives,” said state Sen. Loretta Weinberg. “Would he be playful with a guy in his office?”
Weinberg blasted Cuomo’s explanation that he was just being “playful” and joking when he allegedly flirted with female staffers.
“The clearest answer should have been, let’s get this investigated. Let’s turn it over to the attorney general’s office,” Weinberg said.
The bills that the New Jersey state Assembly passed on Monday are fallout from a different scandal that rocked the early months of the Murphy administration.
“They are a direct outgrowth of the joint hearings,” Weinberg said.
Weinberg headed up the Legislature’s investigation into the hiring of Al Alvarez, who secured and kept a high-paying state job after he was accused of sexually assaulting Katie Brennan, a Murphy campaign volunteer. Alvarez was never charged with a crime, but the hearings showed multiple top figures in Murphy’s campaign and senior staff knew about the allegations against him. The governor said he was kept in the dark.
“Anybody that has any concerns, expresses a concern, deserves to be heard and it deserves to be completely and thoroughly investigated,” Murphy said.
The New Jersey bills include a right for sex assault victims to receive a copy of a police report and sex assault training for prosecutors. They were earlier passed by the state Senate, and now head to the governor’s desk for his signature.
Weinberg has also headed up a working group on rooting out sexism and misogyny in New Jersey politics. That group is planning another meeting by the end of this month.