Cuomo’s apology for offensive behavior has ironic twist for former assemblyman

Cuomo Under Fire

(WIVB)– Governor Cuomo now says he is embarrassed that some women have found certain actions, certain gestures to be offensive. However, the governor has not been as forgiving toward other elected officials in Albany.

One of those officials who felt the governor’s wrath was former Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak.

Eight years ago, there was a bright line for Cuomo when it came to sexual harassment now that the shoe is on the other foot the line is a bit blurred.

“I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable,” said Governor Cuomo.

Governor Andrew Cuomo now in the face of blistering allegations of sexual harassment from three women an apology that he thought his actions were okay.

In a Wednesday briefing Cuomo said, “And if I ever did make people feel uncomfortable which I now understand that I have, I apologize for it.”

But in 2013, when State Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak was facing accusations of crude and sexually offensive behavior the governor’s sentiments were crystal clear.

“Sexual harassment is all-too-common in occupations all across the board, it is a societal problem. I like to believe we hold elected officials to a higher standard. We will not tolerate this behavior if true.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D)

Dennis Gabryszak was a four-term assemblyman representing the 143rd District, but several women that worked under him or near him called him out for obnoxious behavior.

One of the Cheektowaga Democrat’s accusers said Gabryszak sent a video of himself in a bathroom stall which she believed showed Gabryszak having oral sex.

Seven women sued the former Assemblyman, and a state ethics panel launched an investigation.

Cuomo issued an ultimatum to the former Assemblyman: deny the claims or resign.

“There will be an investigation. If true, he has to be out, period, end of story,” Cuomo said.

Three weeks later, Gabryszak stepped down.

Late this afternoon an attorney for the former assemblyman issued a brief statement, that Gabryszak has no interest in weighing in on the governor’s situation.

“Assemblymember Gabryszak has no interest in weighing in on Governor Cuomo’s situation.  He is focused on vigorously defending the lawsuits against him, four of which have already been dismissed or discontinued.”

Nicholas A. Romano, Esq., Connors LLP

He is focused on defending the lawsuits against him, four of which have been dismissed or discontinued.

Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here.

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