One of the first women to come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Andrew Cuomo, the former governor of New York, filed a federal lawsuit against him. Charlotte Bennett worked for Mr. Cuomo as a staff member for a brief period in 2019. She has previously talked about her experience working for the former governor.
According to Ms. Bennett’s lawsuit, she was subjected to sexual harassment and discrimination by Mr. Cuomo. She also claims that he made inappropriate comments about her appearance and asked about her sexual history and romantic relationships.
The allegations in Ms. Bennett’s lawsuit were featured in an August 2021 report by Letitia James, the state attorney general of New York. Ms. James’ investigation, conducted at Mr. Cuomo’s request, backed up Ms. Bennett’s claims and found that Mr. Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. Following Ms. James’ report, Mr. Cuomo stepped down from his position as governor. Kathy Hochul, the lieutenant governor at the time, was appointed the new governor.
Since his departure, Mr. Cuomo has been trying to undermine the investigation that led to his downfall. This week, he filed an ethics complaint against the state’s attorney general. He has also accused Ms. James of conducting a biased investigation.
Ms. Bennett’s lawsuit also claims that after she reported the allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Cuomo, she was transferred to a different department. Additionally, she claims that she was not interviewed about her claims until weeks later. The Executive Chamber did not reportedly refer her complaint to the appropriate authorities.
According to Ms. Bennett’s lawsuit, she was forced to resign from her job due to her “unbearable” work environment. Mr. Cuomo’s attorney, Rita Glavin, said that the former governor denies the allegations made by her.
In response to the lawsuit, Ms. Glavin said that the former governor denies the allegations made by Ms. Bennett. He also noted that the evidence that was favorable to him was suppressed. According to Ms. Glavin, the various pieces of information uncovered showed how crucial facts were not included in the investigation.
Ms. Bennett’s lawsuit claims that she experienced various mental health issues due to the alleged harassment. She stated that she felt like she was experiencing a near-debilitating anxiety attack.
Ms. James was accused in an ethics complaint of intentionally leaving out certain information in her report that questioned the credibility of some of her witnesses. The complaint, filed by Mr. Cuomo, also accused the two investigators of failing to correct the errors in the report.
Ms. Bennett’s lawsuit also claims that after she provided several hours of testimony during the investigation, Mr. Cuomo used his media platform to attack her. She also alleged he tried to undermine her credibility.
In a statement, Ms. Bennett said that she was forced to resign due to the retaliation and sexual harassment she suffered after she accused Mr. Cuomo of misconduct. She demanded that the former governor and his top aides be held accountable. Ms. Bennett is seeking damages for emotional distress and economic loss. She also claims that she lost her future opportunities and income.
Finding the Right Employment Attorney
At Risman & Risman, we offer compassionate and caring legal representation for individuals who may have suffered severe issues in the workplace. As established New York employment law attorneys, we work with you to determine the right approach to restoring your reputation and ensuring the best possible outcome for your sexual harassment case. Our team will provide you with the assistance and support you need to achieve your goals and to hold your employer and other individuals accountable for their failure to act on your behalf. Give our office a call today at 212-233-6400 to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys. At Risman & Risman, we work for you