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Aide accuses N.Y. Gov. Cuomo of sexually harassing her

Alyssa McGrath is the first current employee to publicly accuse the governor of making inappropriate comments.
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An aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told The New York Times that Cuomo ogled her and made inappropriate remarks — the latest accusation of sexual harassment against a governor who's already facing bipartisan calls to resign.

Alyssa McGrath, 33, told the paper that Cuomo would remark on her looks, and make suggestive comments to her and another executive aide.

She recounted one instance when she was called into his office to take dictation.

“I put my head down waiting for him to start speaking, and he didn’t start speaking,” she told The New York Times. “So I looked up to see what was going on. And he was blatantly looking down my shirt.” She said Cuomo then asked her, "‘What’s on your necklace?’ Which was in my shirt.”

McGrath was also friends with another aide who reportedly alleged that the governor had groped her. The unidentified woman's complaint has since been forwarded to the Albany police department. McGrath said she discussed the alleged incident with the woman after The Albany Times Union reported on it last week.

The co-worker told McGrath that Cuomo had asked her not to tell her about the incident because he knew the two were close.

“He told her specifically not to tell me,” McGrath told The New York Times.

Cuomo has denied the woman's groping allegation. "I have never done anything like this," he said in a statement to NBC News last week.

A lawyer for Cuomo, Rita Glavin, told the paper there was nothing untoward about Cuomo's actions, saying that “the governor has greeted men and women with hugs and a kiss on the cheek, forehead, or hand. Yes, he has posed for photographs with his arm around them. Yes, he uses Italian phrases like ‘ciao bella.’”

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“None of this is remarkable, although it may be old-fashioned. He has made clear that he has never made inappropriate advances or inappropriately touched anyone,” she said.

A lawyer for McGrath, Mariann Wang, told NBC News: "The governor's deflections are not credible. This was not just friendly banter."

Since the first of now over a half-dozen sexual harassment allegations were leveled at Cuomo last month, the governor has denied touching anyone inappropriately, but acknowledged that he may have acted in ways that made people feel uncomfortable. He said that was unintentional and apologized. Cuomo has said repeatedly he will not resign, despite calls for him to step down from the bulk of New York's congressional delegation and dozens of state legislators.