Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he would resign by Aug. 24 in the wake of a report alleging serial sexual harassment.
Cuomo did not take responsibility for the charges, but added that the New York state government would not be able to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic if he remained in office. Cuomo claimed that he meant to be “endearing” and “was joking” in his interactions with women, but that he did not sexually harass them.
“I can not be the cause of that,” he said. “I love New York, and I love you.”
Cuomo refused to admit any wrongdoing, despite the fact that Attorney General Letitia James’ report found that he sexually harassed eleven women, including a state trooper assigned to his protective detail. Instead, he blamed a changing culture and politicians anxious to take him down. (RELATED: Cuomo Accuser Details Grope Attack Inside Executive Mansion In First Interview After Report)
“I’ve never crossed the line with anyone. But, I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate,” Cuomo said during the press conference.
“I want to thank the women that came forward with sincere complaints. It’s not easy to come forward. But you taught me, and you taught others, an important lesson. Personal boundaries must be expanded and must be protected. I accept full responsibility,” he continued.
Nine of the eleven women who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment were current or former aides.
“This situation and moment is not about the facts. It’s not about the truth. it’s not about thoughtful analysis. It’s not about how do we make the system better. This is about politics.”
Cuomo’s troubles began in May 2020 when the Daily Caller News Foundation first reported that his office deliberately undercounted nursing home COVID-19 deaths. His top aide, Melissa DeRosa, later admitted to Democrats in the state’s General Assembly that the governor’s office covered up the death toll to head off a federal investigation. Cuomo had ordered nursing homes to accept residents who had tested positive for COVID-19.
He was first accused of workplace harassment in December 2020, when former aid Lindsey Boylan tweeted that his office was “beyond toxic,” and that the Friendly’s that she worked at “as a teenager was an infinitely more respectful environment.”
I’ve had many jobs. Waitressing at @Friendlys as a teenager was an infinitely more respectful environment. Even when I had bad customers who tipped poorly.
— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) December 5, 2020
Every member of New York’s congressional delegation, as well as President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, had called on him to resign following the release of James’ report. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie promised impeachment on Aug. 3, saying that Cuomo had “lost the confidence” of state Democrats and could “no longer remain in office.”
With 85 state assembly members on the record in support of impeachment, Cuomo would likely have been removed from office if he did not resign.