New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has handed in his two week notice, amid an avalanche of sexual harassment allegations.
Cuomo announced in a televised news conference on Tuesday (Aug. 10), that he is resigning — effective in 14 days.
“I’m a New Yorker, born and bred. I’m a fighter and my instinct is to fight through this controversy because I truly believe it is politically motivated, I believe it is unfair and it is untruthful and I believe it demonizes behavior that is unsustainable for society,” he said.
The 63-year-old Democrat denied intentionally hurting women, but said fighting back would lead to months of turmoil in the state. “I cannot be the cause of that,” he explained.
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“The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government,” Cuomo said. He also apologized to his accusers.
New York Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul will step in, becoming the state’s first female governor.
The fast moving developments in Albany came after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced details of a lengthy investigation last week, saying her office found Cuomo “sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law.”
The report alleged Cuomo harassed at least 11 women, with some of them accusing the governor of unwanted touching.
Cuomo denied the claims following the release of the report. “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” he said. “I am 63 years old. I’ve lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am.”
On Monday, the New York Assembly Judiciary Committee announced it could finish reviewing evidence for an impeachment inquiry within weeks.
Despite leaving office, Cuomo could still face criminal charges, as prosecutors examine the case.
The son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and the brother of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was widely praised last year for his initial handling of the coronavirus crisis.
The governor’s name was mentioned as a potential presidential candidate. Then it was revealed that his administration undercounted the deaths of thousands of nursing home residents, damaging Cuomo’s image.