New York Post

By URI DAN Mideast Correspondent

September 18, 2006 -- JERUSALEM - The ex-aide - and alleged lover - at the center of the Jim McGreevey scandal has accused the former New Jersey governor of sexually harassing him while state troopers were in the same vehicle.

In a phone interview yesterday, Israeli Golan Cipel said the bizarre incident occurred in 2002 while he and McGreevey were being driven to Washington overnight in a state van with three troopers in the front seat.

Cipel, 37, a former Israeli Army officer, said McGreevey had the van's middle seat replaced with a mattress so he could sleep. Cipel sat in the back seat.

Both fell asleep, but Cipel said he was awoken by what he thought was someone pulling on his right leg. In fact, he said, it was McGreevey touching him inappropriately.

"It was a surrealistic scene. I go in a New Jersey vehicle with three state troopers and there is the governor lying on the floor and rubbing himself at my leg like a dog," the ex-aide said.

Cipel said that when they got to Washington, he told McGreevey, "Don't ever do that again. Then I went to the toilet and vomited."

Cipel said the "very strange" incident was the third in which the ex-governor tried to sexually harass him.

In early 2002, he said, McGreevey masturbated in bed in front of him - with the governor's wife in the kitchen - while recovering from a broken leg.

And in December 2001 - while Dina McGreevey was in the hospital - the former governor tried to push him down on the bed, Cipel said.

"He pushed my chest and I fell on the bed. The governor was absolutely crazy," he said.

McGreevey, in his new book, "The Confession," recalls the encounter differently - as a passionate kiss that "sent me through the roof."

The ex-governor could not be reached for comment. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he stood by his account. "The book is rigorously, if not painfully, honest," he said.