NEW YORK — City Comptroller Scott Stringer has been one of the top contenders for the New York City mayor.
However, accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Stringer where a woman who volunteered on a previous campaign said he “inappropriately and relentlessly” pursued a sexual relationship with her.
Stringer admitted to a months-long consensual relationship with Jean Kim, who the mayoral candidate said was a volunteer for his public advocate campaign, and added they were friends.
“I categorically deny that in any way I did anything without her consent. We were friends for a very long time, it turned into something more for a brief time,” Stringer told PIX11 News. “It was just totally consensual.”
“I do respect Jean’s right to come forward and say what’s on her mind,” Stringer said, “But I’m also here to absolutely refute” the claims against him.
Kim said “there was never a romantic relationship” between her and Stringer, however the comptroller claimed “there was a relationship.”
“It was a friendship that turned into something more,”he said. “It was nothing that wasn’t consensual.”
Stringer said the pair had an “amicable” relationship for years until 2013, when she approached him for a job.
After she didn’t get the job, she went to his rival campaign, according to Stringer.
Stringer had previously called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign in the face of a multitude of sexual harassment allegations against him. He said his situation is different.
Will Stringer step down from the mayoral race?
“Of course not,” he said.
Stringer is currently trailing behind Andrew Yang and neck-and-neck with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams in the mayoral race.
Many New Yorkers remain undecided over who they would vote for, but can voters trust him?
“That’s for the voters to decide. I’m going to make my case,” he said. “The voters have known me for 30 years. They trust me.”
Part of what Stringer is fighting for is overhauling the transportation system.
Rather than having a two-tier fare system, Stringer wants New Yorkers to ride the rails with the swipe of a MetroCard, which would give more access to trains and stations and bring the economy back.
Many New Yorkers have said they don’t feel safe in city subways.
Stringer said the real challenge is to tackle homelessness and mental health issues, as many of those people are staying in subway stations.
The city needs to bring mental health professionals into the subway and train stations and help get people the assistance needed.
Stringer accuser Jean Kim spoke one-on-one with PIX11 News’ Katie Corrado about the allegations.