Ana Liss worked in the Executive Chamber from 2013 to 2015 for a former aide to Cuomo, Howard Glaser, Sr. Policy Advisor to the Governor and Director of State Operations 2011-2014. She started as an Empire State Fellow and was pulled to work with Howard Glaser – it was Glaser who recruited her, not Gov. Cuomo.
Liss gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal which was published on March 6, 2021 accusing Cuomo of inappropriate behavior: He asked if she had a boyfriend, called her sweetheart, kissed her hand and touched her back while taking a picture in 2014. She proudly kept that photo on her desk at least until her interview in 2021 more than 6 years after her departure.
The report concludes Cuomo sexually harassed LIss based on the following claims:
- Cuomo called Liss during her employment in the executive chamber almost exclusively “sweetheart” or “darling”
- He occasionally kissed her on the cheeks and hand, touched and held her hands, and slid his hand around her lower waist during a photo.
- Cuomo commented on her appearance and asked her if she had a boyfriend.
- None of Liss’s claims are sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior by a reasonable person’s standard.
- She kept the photo she considers harassment proudly on the desk for years.
- Cuomo testified he can’t even remember her.
- Liss praised Cuomo on her social media throughout 2020. (see below), for years after her departure (but also before and at her departure).
December 6, 2020: “HBD and tanti auguri to the Gov! What a year!” (Happy Birthday wishes in English and Italian). Screenshot.
November 26, 2020: Happy Thanksgiving! I’m grateful for … (list of people), @NYGovCuomo …”. Screenshot.
September 14, 2020: “… 😅 Well done as always, #TeamCuomo“. Screenshot.
March 21, 2020: “This guy. 🥰”. Screenshot.
March 15, 2020: “… countless lives will be saved thanks to @NYGovCuomo’s leadership“. Screenshot.
December 6, 2017: “Tanti auguri, Gov!“. Screenshot.
Jan 26, 2016: “… Kudos to @NYGovCuomo“. Screenshot.
June 18, 2015: “Big TY to …. @NYGovCuomo office for lovely sendoff” (featuring a cake and flowers for her departure from the job). Screenshot.
Oct, 14, 2014: @NYGovCuomo is rocking @Letterman …”. Screenshot.
Interactions in Detail
At a work party in or around May 2014, he kissed her on the cheek and “slipped his hand around her lower waist” for a photograph. This is the photograph she kept on her desk until at least early 2021, when she gave the interview. See above.
When Liss met Cuomo, he held her hand and “gazed into her eyes” in a manner she perceived as “grandfatherly” and “somewhat flirtatious” at the same time. He twice told her she looked lovely, once in the office and once at a Father’s Day party. She did not feel this was sexual or flirtatious, but instead “demeaning” and “unwelcome”.
Cuomo called Liss “sweetheart” or “darling” instead of her name, which she found demeaning. She also complained that he did not speak with her about work.
We find Liss’s claims irrelevant with regard to an investigation about sexual harassment. None of her stories are harassment or inappropriate behavior.
Moreover, the Governor testified that he does not even remember her (so possibly didn’t call her by her name because he didn’t know it, since she was not his aide, but Howard Glaser’s). Liss kept posting about Cuomo on Twitter, sending hearts from 2014 to 2020, and kept the photo she claims was harassment on her desk for over 6 years. We don’t take her sudden change of mind after 6 years seriously.
Lastly, her former boss at the Executive Chamber, Howard Glaser, is married to Karen Hinton, who is promoting a book about “penis politics” and made her 20 year old allegations against Cuomo exactly on the same day as Liss. In 2018, only three year ago, Hinton wrote an article signaling out Cuomo as an example of a male in politics who is respectful of women.