New York Governor Andrew Cuomo finally announced he will be resigning in two weeks after the sexual harassment scandal sank his administration. Of course he still refutes these “claims”. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will replace him and become the states first female governor.
More from CNBC below:
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday he will resign in two weeks because of a sexual harassment scandal that has crippled his administration.
Cuomo’s shock announcement in a live stream from his Manhattan office came after his lawyer again flatly denied claims that he had sexually harassed anyone during the Democrat’s three terms in office..
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will replace Cuomo, becoming the Empire State’s first female governor.
“Thank you for letting me serve you. It has been the honor of a lifetime,” Cuomo said. “God bless you.”
Cuomo’s resignation comes a week after a damning report issued by the state Attorney General’s office found he had sexually harassed at least 11 women, including current and former staffers, as well as a state police trooper.
Attorney General Letitia James said last week that Cuomo, 63, had broken state and federal laws with his conduct, which she asserted included unwanted touching and remarks that made the women feel uncomfortable.
Cuomo’s decision to quit came after a wave of fellow Democrats, including President Joe Biden and members of the state’s congressional delegation — among them, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand — and in New York’s legislature either reiterated or made new calls that he step down.
After the report was issued, Hochul said she believed Cuomo’s accusers, and called the governor’s behavior toward those women “repulsive and unlawful.”
His resignation came five months after the harassment allegations against him exploded into public view.
His fall represents a stunning turnaround from his political fortunes in 2020, when his handling of the Covid pandemic was widely praised and he was given a lucrative book deal to write about his management of it.
The governor also was mentioned as a possible running mate for Biden or a potential attorney general in the new administration.
Cuomo for months had resisted calls to resign, which began after several former aides — Lindsey Boylan, Charlotte Bennett and Karen Hinton — accused him of inappropriate behavior toward them.
Other women described similar conduct by Cuomo.
One of them, an aide, told superiors that Cuomo aggressively groped her in the governor’s mansion last year after summoning her on the pretext of dealing with a mobile phone issue.
The unidentified woman’s account was relayed to the Albany Police Department, which reached out to her representative.
After James released her report, the Albany County District Attorney’s Office said it was conducting a criminal investigation of conduct, and would request investigative materials collected as part of the attorney general’s probe.
The governor, while claiming “I never touched anyone inappropriately” or intended to make women uncomfortable, acknowledged in March that he had “acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable.”
On March 11, the Democratic speaker of the state Assembly, Carl Heastie, authorized an impeachment inquiry into Cuomo’s conduct by the Judiciary Committee.