governor Nova YorkDemocrat Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that he is stepping down amid accusations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct by 11 women. He announced that, after a 14-day transition period, he would hand over the state government to Deputy Governor Kathy Hochul.
US President Joe Biden and other prominent figures in the Democratic Party such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have called for Cuomo’s resignation.
Photo: New York Government/Associated Press
At a January 4 news conference, New York Attorney General Letitia James said that “testimonies and evidence revealed a deeply disturbing but clear picture: Governor Cuomo “sexually harassed current and former state employees, in violation of federal and state laws.”
At first, the Democrat said he regretted that his behavior was “misinterpreted as unwanted courtship.” But in recent months, he has taken a more aggressive stance, saying he did nothing wrong, and questioning the motives of both the accused and the critics.
In a statement broadcast live, Cuomo said he “takes full responsibility” for his behavior, but denied that they had any “sexual intent”. The 63-year-old governor dismissed the accusations and said he never intended to disparage the woman. He criticized what he called a “politically motivated attack” and admitted that remaining in office would expose the state to months of turmoil.
“I don’t want it and I can’t be the reason for it,” he said. “I understand that the best way to help now is to stay away from the government.”
According to investigators cited by the Associated Press, Cuomo offered women unwanted kisses; Feeling or touching her breasts or buttocks inappropriately. He also made hinting comments about their appearance and sexuality, creating a work environment “full of fear and intimidation”.
Former New York Attorney General Cuomo took office in January 2011 and was re-elected twice, in 2014 and 2018. In 2020, he was praised for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The scandal not only interrupted the politician’s career, but also stopped a ruling dynasty: his father, Mario Cuomo, was the state’s governor in the 80s and 90s.
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