One of Facebook’s top communications executives is said to have helped New York Governor Andrew Cuomo lead a smear campaign against Lindsey Boylan, who was accused of sexual harassment while working for the tech giant.
Dani Lever is accused of helping Cuomo’s staff distribute Boylan’s personnel files in an attempt to discredit her allegations against the governor. According to the investigative report released Tuesday by Attorney General Letitia James, she allegedly did, even though she had already started working at Facebook.
Lever worked for Cuomo’s staff for six years before joining the social media platform’s communications team in August 2020.
The smear campaign against Boylan started in December of that year, just hours after she accused Cuomo of harassment. According to the report, Lever also regularly took part in discussions about Cuomo’s communications strategy in response to the allegations.
Facebook CEO Dani Lever (right) accused of helping New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (center) lead a smear campaign against sexual harassment prosecutor Lindsey Boylan
In a series of tweets on December 13, 2020, Boylan became the first woman to publicly announce charges against Cuomo.
“Yes, @NYGovCuomo has sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and looked,’ they wrote.
A few hours later, Boylan’s confidential personnel file, accompanied by a statement from press secretary Caitlin Girouard saying that there was “simply no truth” in her allegations, was circulated to reporters from numerous media outlets, the AG report said.
Although she was no longer employed by the governor’s office, the report claims that “Lever coordinated with some of the reporters who received the documents to let them know that the Executive Chamber would send them.”
Members of the Executive Chamber have stated that they have made Boylan’s files public only “to correct demonstrably inaccurate information” about the circumstances of her departure from the Chamber.
However, another Cuomo prosecutor, identified in the report as Executive Assistant #1, claims to have witnessed the Chamber’s attempts to retaliate against Boylan.
“I’d be in the room if they were actively trying to discredit her. They actively tried to paint a different story from it. I was trying to give her the impression that she was crazy and wanted to get her personnel file out,” the former said.
“That was the first time I saw someone come out in public and say something to them and sexually harass them and see them go behind the scenes to discredit her.”
Cuomo (pictured) faces charges from 11 women who say he sexually harassed them by touching, kissing, hugging or subjecting them to inappropriate questions or comments. The governor denies all charges against him
The governor also had a ‘team of advisors from within and outside the Chamber’ [who] had ongoing and regular discussions about how to publicly respond to the allegations’. According to the report, Lever was an advisor to the team. It’s unclear if her bosses at Facebook had given her permission to work on the second appearance.
Amid the effort to discredit and discredit Boylan, the team has prepared a letter containing complaints against Boylan from her personnel file and specific interactions between her, Cuomo, and other male colleagues. Investigators say the letter also accused Boylan of collaborating with some of Cuomo’s political opponents.
Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa reportedly sent the letter to several individuals asking for their signatures, including Lever, who refused to sign the letter because she believed it was “victim shaming.”
Boylan alleged that Cuomo made inappropriate comments to her while she was serving on his staff, including saying “let’s play strip poker” on an airplane.
Lever was one of several individuals who signed a statement in February 2021 claiming that the exchange never took place.
“We were on each of these flights in October and this conversation did not take place,” the statement said.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Lever and Facebook for comment.
Lever (left) is accused of coordinating the distribution of Boylan’s (right) personnel files to numerous journalists, as well as actively trying to “discredit” her. She signed a statement claiming that a conversation Boylan claims with Cuomo “didn’t happen”
In addition to inappropriate comments, Boylan claims that Cuomo physically touched her on various parts of her body, including her waist, legs and back.
Boylan is one of 11 women whose allegations were substantiated in the AG’s 168-page report.
The women allege that Cuomo sexually harassed them by touching, kissing, hugging or subjecting them to inappropriate questions or comments.
Cuomo denies any allegations of groping and says he may have been too handy with hugs and kisses, but that’s how he was raised. He says the inappropriate comments were meant as jest and the women misinterpreted them.
The governor now faces three criminal investigations in Manhattan, Westchester and Albany — in addition to impeachment proceedings before the state legislature. A judicial commission is charged with investigating whether impeachment is justified and that investigation is ongoing.