Former Cuomo staffer turned Facebook exec helped smear Cuomo’s accusers


By Jenny Goldsberry

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had a former staffer working at Facebook to smear his accusers according to the Attorney General’s report. Dani Lever was a communications director for Cuomo from 2014 to 2020. Then, she left to become a communications director at Facebook.

First, former aide Lindsey Boylan claimed in a February Medium post that Cuomo had engaged in inappropriate gestures, even including an unwanted kiss. In response, Communications Director Rich Azzopardi gave documents full of Boylan’s personal information to reporters. It was his way of trying to discredit her.

“Ms. Lever coordinated with some of the reporters who received the documents to let them know that the Executive Chamber would be sending them,” the report reads. At that point, she had been working for Facebook for months.

Meanwhile, Lever other “advisors” including CNN anchor and brother Chris Cuomo never had official contracts with the governor to advise him. “None of them was officially retained in any capacity by the Executive Chamber or any of the individuals involved,” the investigators wrote. “Nonetheless, they were regularly provided with confidential and often privileged information about state operations and helped make decisions that impacted State business and employees — all without any formal role, duty, or obligation to the State.”

While working for the New York governor’s office, Lever even signed a statement denying that Cuomo ever made jokes about playing strip poker with state employees. However, there were other statements regarding the accusation she refused to sign. Later, when she participated in the investigation, she said she didn’t sign them because they amounted to “victim shaming” according to the report.

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As a result, some are calling for her to lose her job at Facebook. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) called Lever out for “illegal professional retaliation against victims” in a tweet.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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