Roommates, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has reportedly decided to accept mounting calls to resign. These calls, from the likes of President Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and New York senators, came following the findings of his sexual assault investigation. Now, according to CNN, the governor has announced he is “stepping aside” from his role.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew accepted “full responsibility” for his actions and also thanked the women “who came forward with sincere complaints.”
“It’s not easy to step forward, but you did an important service,” Andrew said. “And you taught me and you taught others an important lesson. Personal boundaries must be expanded and must be protected.”
However, the governor was not as accepting of the findings from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ sexual harassment investigation. Exactly a week ago, Letitia revealed that the investigation concluded Gov. Andrew had harassed 11 women, who are current and former state employees. The harassment reportedly consisted of “unwanted groping, kissing, hugging, as well as inappropriate comments.”
At today’s conference, Andrew called the investigation “politically motivated.” According to CNN, he both denied some aspects of the findings and stated other actions were taken out of context.
“This is not to say that there are not 11 women I truly offended,” Gov. Andrew said. “There are. And for that, I deeply, deeply apologize. I thought a hug and putting my arm around a staff person while taking a picture was friendly, but she found it to be too forward. I kissed a woman on the cheek at a wedding and thought I was being nice, but she felt that it was too aggressive. I have slipped and called people ‘honey,’ ‘sweetheart’ and ‘darling.’ I meant it to be endearing. But women found it dated and offensive. I said on national TV to a doctor wearing PPE and giving me a Covid nasal swab, ‘you make that gown look good.’ I was joking. Obviously, otherwise, I wouldn’t have said it on national TV. But she found it disrespectful. I take full responsibility for my actions.”
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Still, Gov. Andrew shared that he is stepping down because he would “never want to be unhelpful in any way.” He explained that although it’s in his New Yorker nature to fight through the controversy, it would “generate months of political and legal controversy” and “cost taxpayers millions of dollars.”
The resignation will reportedly go into effect in two weeks. After that, New York Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul will be stepping up as his replacement. The Buffalo native, who won the 2014 and 2018 election alongside Gov. Andrew, is set to be New York’s first female governor. Following the announcement, Kathy tweeted that she agrees with Gov. Andrew’s decision.
“I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down,” Kathy wrote. “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.
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