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A top Facebook communications manager helped Cuomo's office leak confidential files about one of his accusers, AG's report says


Andrew Cuomo and Dani Lever
Left: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Right: Dani Lever.
  • Dani Lever worked in Cuomo's press office for several years before joining Facebook last August.
  • The NY AG says Lever helped Cuomo respond to Lindsey Boylan's sexual-harassment allegation.
  • Lever helped Cuomo's team disseminate Boylan's personnel file to the press, investigators said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A top Facebook communications manager helped New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo respond to his first sexual-harassment allegation by contacting the press about the accuser's personnel file, a Tuesday report from the New York Attorney General Letitia James said.

Dani Lever, a former Cuomo aide, joined the governor's staff in 2014, later becoming his first female press secretary and eventually his director of communications. The New York Daily News reported last August that she was leaving the governor's office to join Facebook as a communications manager.

But according to the NY AG's investigation, Lever continued to help the governor on the side, including when the former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan became the first person to accuse the governor of inappropriate behavior. Boylan, who made the accusation in December 2020, resigned from Cuomo's office in 2018 after what she described as years of unwanted sexual advances, including a nonconsensual kiss.

The governor's team responded by leaking Boylan's personnel file to journalists after her accusation, in what the investigators called an attempt to "discredit and disparage" Boylan.

According to the AG's report, Lever acted as a middlewoman of sorts in this process.

The report said Lever "coordinated with some of the reporters who received the documents to let them know that the Executive Chamber would be sending them."

GettyImages NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 17: Lindsey Boylan attends The 9th Annual Elly Awards Hosted By The Women's Forum Of New York on June 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Women's Forum of New York)
Lindsey Boylan at the 9th Annual Elly Awards hosted by the Women's Forum Of New York on June 17, 2019 in New York City.

Lever declined to comment. Facebook and the governor's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

According to the AG's report, Cuomo's team had drafted a letter or op-ed detailing complaints against Boylan, and asked Lever to sign it. But she declined, saying it amounted to "victim shaming," the report said.

The NY AG's report had listed Lever as part of a "team of advisors from within and outside the Chamber [who] had ongoing and regular discussions about how to respond to the allegations publicly."

Among that team was the governor's brother, the CNN host Chris Cuomo.

The report questioned why Lever, Chris Cuomo, and others that were not "officially retained in any capacity by the Executive Chamber" were "regularly provided with confidential and often privileged information about state operations and helped make decisions that impacted State business and employees."

According to Lever's LinkedIn profile, she worked as a press assistant on former President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and in press relations at the Clinton Foundation before working for Gov. Cuomo.

President Joe Biden is among a chorus of fellow Democrats calling for Cuomo's resignation in the wake of the NYAG's report, but Cuomo has refused to back down.

In a statement, Cuomo maintained that he "never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances."

Read the NY AG's full report here:

Read the original article on Business Insider

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