Facebook staffer’s advice on Andrew Cuomo harassment case could spark probe


A Facebook communications manager should be investigated for secretly suggesting that Andrew Cuomo’s aides “victim shame” the woman who sparked the sexual harassment scandal that forced him from the governor’s office, a complainant says in a new filing with state ethics officials.

“Facebook/Meta senior communicator Dani Lever gifted lobbying (and) communications advice to the disgraced former Governor Andrew Cuomo administration,” Washington state resident Joe Kunzler wrote Friday in a sworn statement to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

“These acts … should trigger a formal investigation.”

JCOPE, which has the authority to impose fines for illegal lobbying and gifts to government officials, acknowledged receipt of the complaint in a Monday email to Kunzler.

Dani Lever, right, walks with ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Facebook communications manager Dani Lever, right, is the former press secretary for ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuo
Dani Lever smiles
Lever wrote in a Dec. 13 text message “I think we can victim shame on the record.”

“As a matter of law, Commission proceedings are confidential and thus you may not be notified of any Commission action regarding your complaint unless and until there is final action that can be publicly disclosed,” the email said.

Kunzler’s complaint was triggered by a Post report that revealed Lever — who was Cuomo’s communications director from November 2018 to September 2020 — sent a Dec. 13 text message to two of his top aides after former state economic development official Lindsey Boylan tweeted, “Yes, @NYGovCuomo sexually harassed me for years.”

“I think we can victim shame on the record,” Lever wrote.

The outrageous recommendation was made public last week when state Attorney General Letitia James released the second, massive batch of evidence from her investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo.

Facebook employees unveil a new logo and the name 'Meta' on the sign.
Dani Lever has been a communications manager with Facebook.
Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

David Grandeau — who ran JCOPE’s predecessor agency, the state Temporary Commission on Lobbying — said he would have already launched a probe of Lever and Facebook, based just on information contained in the bombshell Aug. 3 report that James issued against Cuomo, who resigned a week later.

“They should have been on top of this months ago,” he said of JCOPE.

Grandeau also suggested the agency hadn’t acted because it’s “corrupt and incompetent.”

JCOPE declined to comment.

In his complaint, Kunzler described himself as a Democratic donor to Boylan’s failed campaigns for US Congress and the Manhattan borough presidency.

Lindsey Boylan
Lindsey Boylan came forward in February about then-Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassing her.
AP / Eduardo Munoz

Kunzler, 39, told The Post that he was a disabled transit advocate and aviation photographer and that “nobody asked me to do this.”

“I felt there was a clear ethics issue here and that … somebody had to step up and make sure that justice is done,” he said.

Lever didn’t immediately return an inquiry but a Facebook spokesperson said by email, “We have no comment.”

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