Gov. Andrew Cuomo was still lying low Wednesday after his apparent weekend grilling over sexual harassment allegations — leading critics to accuse him of ducking the media to avoid being asked what he told investigators.
Cuomo’s public schedule put him in Albany with no public appearances and marked a full week since his last news conference, when he joined Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams and other officials in Brooklyn to discuss surging gun violence.
The last time Cuomo has gone that long without taking questions from reporters amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was an eight-day stretch between Feb. 22 and March 3.
That spell of silence was sparked by the accusations leveled on Feb. 24 by former aide Lindsey Boylan, who said Cuomo had unexpectedly kissed her “on the lips” in his Manhattan office and asked her to play strip poker on his official state jet.
Cuomo canceled a planned teleconference with reporters shortly after Boylan detailed her allegations in an essay posted on the Medium website, which quickly led several other women to come forward with their own accounts of alleged mistreatment by the three-term Democrat.
On Saturday, he was scheduled to be questioned by outside lawyers hired by state Attorney General Letitia James to investigate the various sexual harassment allegations.
A member of Cuomo’s security detail was photographed escorting the transfer of four cardboard file boxes — two of which were wrapped with red evidence tape — out of the building at 633 Third Ave. that houses Cuomo’s office on Saturday evening.
Cuomo was also photographed boarding a state police helicopter at the West 30th Street VIP Heliport a short time later.
Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens), an outspoken critic, said that Cuomo “can’t run and hide from the truth forever.”
“Cuomo’s probably gearing up to attack the credibility of the state attorney general and investigators while preparing for another state of emergency or a sports-related event,” Kim said.
“I’m hoping we are close to the end of the open investigations to finally have some accountability.”
Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R-Syracuse) also said, “Public relations has always been the top priority for this governor, and that’s what’s playing out right now.”
“Avoiding tough questions and dodging interactions with the media is a reflection of someone in damage control, not of a leader who values transparency,” Barclay added.
In response to questions last week, Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi repeatedly released a prepared statement claiming that his boss “doesn’t want to comment on this review until he has cooperated.”
Azzopardi didn’t immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday.
In addition to the AG’s probe, federal authorities are investigating the Cuomo administration’s pandemic-related handling of nursing homes and its admitted cover-up of total resident deaths from the coronavirus, as well as the governor’s $5.1 million deal for his memoir, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
The state Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is also conducting a wide-ranging impeachment inquiry.
Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing.