New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigns after inquiry finds he sexually harassed women
Eleven women had accused Cuomo of touching them inappropriately, commenting on their appearance or making suggestive remarks about their sex lives.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced his resignation days after an inquiry showed that he had sexually harassed nearly a dozen women, reported AFP.
“I think that given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let [the] government get back to [the] government,” Cuomo said in a live address. “My resignation will be effective in 14 days.”
The Democrat leader also claimed that the controversy was “politically motivated”, reported BBC. “I believe it is unfair and it is untruthful and I believe it demonises behaviour that is unsustainable for society,” he said.
Cuomo said the “current trajectory” of the scandal would generate months of controversy that would cost taxpayers a lot of money. “Wasting energy on distractions is the last thing that state government should be doing, and I can’t be the cause of that,” he added.
On August 3, a non-criminal investigation, overseen by New York’s Attorney General Letitia James, concluded that 11 women employees, some of whom are working with the state government, were telling the truth when they said Cuomo had touched them inappropriately, commented on their appearance or made suggestive remarks about their sex lives.
James had said Cuomo engaged “in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous comments of a suggestive sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women”.
The investigation also concluded that Cuomo and his senior team took retaliatory action against at least one former employee for coming forward with her ordeal.
Following the investigation, United States President Joe Biden had said that Cuomo should resign. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand – all leaders of the Democratic Party – had also called for his resignation.
“As we have said before, the reported actions of the governor were profoundly disturbing, inappropriate and completely unacceptable,” CNN quoted a statement by Schumer and Kirsten as saying. “Today’s report [August 3] from the New York State Attorney General substantiated and corroborated the allegations of the brave women who came forward to share their stories – and we commend the women for doing so.”