NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Resigns After Harassment Investigation
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned Tuesday after an investigation led by state Attorney General Letitia James found he sexually harassed 11 women, and violated state and federal laws.
Cuomo opened his remarks at a brief press conference announcing his decision by emphatically denying he intentionally showed any disrespect toward women.
However, he said, fighting back against what he called the “politically motivated” attack on him would subject the state to months of turmoil, and “I cannot be the cause of that.”
“Given the circumstances the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let the government get back to governing,” the governor said.
New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a former congresswoman from the Buffalo area, will take office and serve out the rest of Cuomo’s term until 2021. Hochul also makes history as New York’s first female governor.
During his press conference, Cuomo continued to deny the allegations, although he did concede he had “been too familiar with people.”
The three-term Democratic governor’s decision, which will take effect in two weeks, was announced as momentum built in the Legislature to remove him by impeachment.
James’s investigation, the results of which were released Aug. 3, found that Gov. Cuomo “sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”
Several Democratic lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had called for Cuomo to resign after multiple women came forward with their allegations of Cuomo’s harassment earlier in 2021.
Until his announcement Tuesday, Cuomo had insisted he would not resign.
In a statement, Attorney General James said Cuomo’s resignation “closes a sad chapter for all of New York, but it’s an important step towards justice.
“I thank Governor Cuomo for his contributions to our state,” she continued. “The ascension of our Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, will help New York enter a new day. We must continue to build on the progress already made and improve the lives of New Yorkers in every corner of the state. I know our state is in good hands with Lieutenant Governor Hochul at the helm, and I look forward to continuing to work with her.”
After Cuomo’s announcement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer commended “the brave women who stepped forward and courageously told their stories.
“There is no place for sexual harassment, and today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo to resign was the right decision for the good of the people of New York,” Schumer said. “I have full confidence that Lt. Gov. Hochul will establish a professional and capable administration. I have spoken with Lt. Gov. Hochul and look forward to working together to help the people of New York.”
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