Cuomo staffers 'pressured to wear makeup, heels, and dress to PLEASE governor in order to get ahead in their careers'
WOMEN on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s staff were reportedly pressured to wear makeup, heels and dresses in his presence in order to advance in their careers.
A dozen women said there was a general understanding that they were to dress up when around Cuomo, according to The New York Times.
And more than a dozen women who previously worked for the New York governor said he and his top female aides heavily pressured staffers to wear expensive clothing and dress well, New York Magazine reported.
Some of the women claimed that they were told to wear heels when Cuomo was around.
A former staffer and Cuomo accuser, Ana Liss, claimed that an executive assistant told her, “When the governor is here, you need to look really good,” according to New York Magazine.
And a former aide named Kaitlin who declined to provide her last name said Cuomo would criticize her looks if she arrived at work with wet hair or he did not approve of her appearance.
Cuomo would say, “You decided not to get ready today?” or, “You didn’t put makeup on today?” according to Kaitlin.
Women who were blonde, tall and thin were favored in hiring, current and former Cuomo aides told The Times.
A senior aide and two former staffers said they think they were denied professional opportunities due to the way they dressed, according to the newspaper.
Three ex-staffers claimed they had to dress how Cuomo liked if they wanted to get attention from him.
The emphasis on appearance extended to desk assignments, with the staffers who dressed as Cuomo pleased getting placed within view of his office in the Capitol, according to The Times.
New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, who was a Cuomo aide in 2017, told the newspaper: “If you are a woman who wants to focus on work, it is the worst place to be.”
Cuomo's deputy director of administrative services from 2011 to 2014, Peter Yacobellis, said there was "clearly a toxic environment for many women in the governor's office,” The Times reported.
Yacobellis added that there was no solid sexual harassment training offered to staffers.
Cuomo’s top adviser Richard Azzopardi denied the allegations.
“Not now nor has there ever been an expectation to wear certain clothing or high heels," Azzopardi told The Times.
Cuomo on Friday again denied sexual harassment allegations from women, now numbering eight, and refused to resign.
Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Letitia James is overseeing a probe into the eight women’s claims that Cuomo sexually harassed them or made unwanted sexual moves on them.
State lawmakers have started an impeachment inquiry and most Democrats within the state are calling on Cuomo to step down.
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