This morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he will be resigning following several sexual harassment allegations — a year after he was widely hailed nationally for his detailed daily briefings and leadership during the Covid-19 outbreak.
During a [televised conference], the 63-year-old Democrat emphatically denied intentionally showing any disrespect toward women but said that fighting back against what he called the “politically motivated” attack on him would subject the state to months of turmoil, and “I cannot be the cause of that.”
“The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government,” Cuomo said.
The three-term Democratic governor’s decision, which he will transition out of office in two weeks, was announced as momentum built in the Legislature to remove him by impeachment. It came after New York’s attorney general released the results of an investigation that found Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a 62-year-old Democrat and former member of Congress from the Buffalo area, will become the state’s 57th governor and the first woman to hold the post.
AP also reports that:
The #MeToo-era scandal cut short not just a career but a dynasty: Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo, was governor in the 1980s and ’90s, and the younger Cuomo was often mentioned as a potential candidate for president, an office his father famously contemplated seeking. Even as the scandal mushroomed, Cuomo was planning to run for reelection in 2022.
The string of accusations that spelled the governor’s downfall began to unfold in news reports last December and went on for months.
New York has seen a string of high-level political figures brought down in disgrace in recent years.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in 2008 in a call-girl scandal. Rep. Anthony Weiner went to prison for sexting with a 15-year-old girl. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stepped down in 2018 after four women accused him of abuse. And the top two leaders in the Legislature were convicted of corruption.
Lastly, Cuomo still faces the possibility of criminal charges, with a number of prosecutors around the state moving to investigate him.