GOV. CUOMO RESIGNS IN SEX HARASSMENT SCANDAL

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced his resignation Tuesday afternoon in the wake of multiple sex-harassment charges and the threat of impeachment.

He said his resignation, leaving his third term unfinished, would take effect in 14 days.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will step in to complete his term.

Cuomo cited the expected length of time for impeachment to proceed and cost as among the reasons he would step down. “Government needs to function today. It need to perform. It is a matter of life and death,” he said.

“It has been the honor of my lifetime,” to serve as New York governor, he said.

After his statement, he listed a variety of accomplishments during his terms of office, from battling the high rate of Covid-19 infection to free college tuition to marriage equality, gun safety and numerous infrastructure projects.

He was accused of harassing at least 11 women who worked in his administration, according to a report issued last week by the state Attorney General’s Office.

He was accused of harassing at least 11 women who worked in his administration, according to a report issued last week by the state Attorney General’s Office. It said he had created a hostile workplace for employees.
The report by Attorney General Letitia James said, “..We find that the Governor 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.
“Our investigation revealed that the Governor’s sexually harassing behavior was not limited to members of his own staff, but extended to other State employees, including a State Trooper on his protective detail and members of the public. We also conclude that the Executive Chamber’s culture—one filled with fear and intimidation, while at the same time normalizing the Governor’s frequent flirtations and gender-based comments—contributed to the conditions that allowed the sexual harassment to occur and persist. That culture also influenced the improper and inadequate ways in which the Executive Chamber has responded to allegations of harassment.”
Cuomo, shortly after James’ report was released, denied he had done anything inappropriate, and defended his behavior as innocent.

On Facebook, Hochul wrote, “I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down. It is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers.

“As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor.”

Political leaders, from President Joe Biden to local elected officials, had called in recent days for him to step down.

He is also facing possible criminal charges in at least one case.

Hochul will be the first woman to serve as governor of New York.

State Sen. Jim Gaughran, D-Northport, said, “The past few months have been a very difficult period for the people of New York State. I thank and commend the incredibly brave women who stepped forward and spoke truth to power. No one is above the law.

“I have known and worked with Kathy Hochul for years and there is no one better equipped to step in and lead New York as the State continues to navigate the pandemic and heal from these past few months. Her decades of public service across the local, state, and federal levels will serve New Yorkers well and help lead the State through this tumultuous time.

“I look forward to working with incoming Governor Kathy Hochul to move New York forward. Let’s get to work.”

Assemblyman Keith Brown, R-Northport, said, “Gov. Cuomo finally recognized the walls were caving in. Between the bombshell attorney general’s report and the extensive hard work and dedication of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, it was clear that there would be no escaping responsibility for his actions.

“This governor’s administration was one that will be remembered from the very beginning for the intense amount of corruption and scandal it brought the people of New York. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. We cannot allow resignation to be the end of this story. I am committed wholly to continuing to find justice for the victims of Cuomo’s abuse and corruption. Whether you’re a taxpayer in New York or the loved one of one of the 15,000 nursing home patients that lost their life, you deserve accountability.”

“My best wishes to Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul as she will take over as Governor at a critical time and will have to change the atmosphere in the Executive Chamber and work with the Legislature to bring New York forward.”

James said, “Today 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. The ascension of our Lieutenant Governor, 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.”

#GOVCUOMO

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