Before Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul was repulsed by outgoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s treatment of female staffers, she help prop him up as a leading protector of women in the workplace.
Hochul called Cuomo’s behavior “repulsive and unlawful” shortly after James released her findings last week.
“New York State has zero tolerance when it comes to sexual assault in the workplace,” Hochul said in a 2018 press release from Cuomo’s office about a bill that would end mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment victims.
That same year, the governor allegedly kissed his special adviser, Lindsey Boylan, without her consent.
In 2017, Hochul applauded Cuomo’s effort to raise the age of consent to marry from 17 to 18.
“This administration has a strong record of promoting the interests of all women,” she said in another Cuomo press statement.
Around that time, Boylan says the governor suggested they “play strip poker” during flight home from an event in western New York.
During a 2016 stop at SUNY Geneseo about protecting coeds, Hochul said, “We have a governor who has three college-age daughters. He is very aware of the challenges we face and it troubled him deeply. “
“Gov. Cuomo came up with a plan to protect young people on campuses,” she said.
Last year Cuomo, 63, allegedly tried to get his 24-year-old executive assistant, Charlotte Bennett, to sleep with him.
And in 2019, Hochul championed Cuomo-led changes to policies that extended the statute of limitations for sexual harassment claims.
“These reforms build in New York’s nation-leading efforts to combat sexual harassment and make sure survivors have the tools and support they need to seek justice and hold abusers accountable,” Hochul said in a press release.
Attorney General Letitia James’ sexual harassment probe of Cuomo found that the governor and his team retaliated against at least one victim and created a “toxic” and hostile work environment for women in the Executive Chamber.
“It just really shows that she was wrong,” New York Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis told The Post about Hochul’s past praise for Cuomo.
“She was wrong, and those of us who have said over the years — that he was a bully, that he was not a nice guy, and that he was operating by a different standard than the one he imposed on the rest of society — were right,” Malliotakis said.
Cuomo has denied any bad intentions or inappropriate physical contact with women, claiming he was just joking around and being friendly.
Reps for Hochul did not immediately respond to requests for comment.