A Democrat Governor has been named in a major lawsuit citing his “indifference” to sexual harassment complaints against one of his employees.
According to The New York Daily News, Lisa Marie Cater alleges she complained about the abuse at least six times over a year and was completely ignored by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D). Cater’s lawyer, Paul Liggieri, said in a statement: “The state of New York owes us answers as to why the cries of a sexual harassment victim fell on deaf ears.”
Ms. Cater said the abuse began when she was at risk of losing her apartment in 2015. She had reached out to the Empire State Development Corp. for assistance when she was contacted by the head of the Buffalo office, Sam Hoyt.
Mr. Hoyt informed her of his position and connection with Gov. Cuomo saying he could get her a job with the DMV. Ms. Cater says the harassment began before she started working at the DMV as a secretary in February 2016.
Allegedly, Mr. Hoyt began badgering her, showing up at her house and also via text message, threatening Ms. Cater with her job if she didn’t consent to his advances. Ms. Cater claims after a month of working at the DMV, Mr. Hoyt sent her a nude photo of himself asking, “Do you think I look tan?”
Realizing that Mr. Hoyt wouldn’t leave her alone in spite of her numerous rejections and insistence, she reported the matter to Gov. Cuomo’s office. She didn’t receive a response and was told by Mr. Hoyt, who had been caught at the time having an affair with a young intern, that he was charged by Gov. Cuomo’s office to “make this go away.”
Mr. Hoyt offered a $50,000 settlement in exchange for Ms. Cater’s silence, she agreed and resigned in October, during a state investigation into the matter.
Facing a lawsuit for failing to acknowledge the sexual harassment complaints, Gov. Cuomo denies any wrongdoing. His Chief Counsel Alphonso David stated, “The facts alleged in this complaint regarding Mr. Hoyt were not provided to state investigators and in many cases contradict the public allegations made in the last several weeks.”
Mr. David further claimed that Ms. Cater had ceased cooperating with the Inspector General’s Office when the complaints were eventually investigated on at least three occasions. It was also denied that any representative from Gov. Cuomo’s office had told Mr. Hoyt to “make this go away.”
Neither Mr. Hoyt nor his lawyer, Terrence Conors, have responded to questions on the matter.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), has been accused of ignoring sexual harassment claims made by his employees. Should the governor have paid attention and had the claims investigated?
If it’s revealed that Gov. Cuomo and his office willfully ignored sexual harassment complaints against Mr. Hoyt, it would be disturbing, to say the least. It’s bad enough that sexual harassment occurs, but even worse when those aware of the problem fail to act or even acknowledge the matter.
It would also bring into question how the three separate probes, according to Mr. David, failed to uncover the issue, this especially in light of the fact that Mr. Hoyt had already been found guilty of sexual deviance with a young intern that led to his resignation.