New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced he will resign amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment, effective in 14 days. The embattled governor’s resignation comes a week after the New York attorney general’s office released a report concluding he sexually harassed 11 women.
‘The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing,’ Cuomo said in his televised address around noon. ‘And therefore that’s what I will do, because I work for you and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you. Because as we say, its not about me, it’s about we.’
Cuomo said that New York Lt Governor Kathy Hochul is ‘smart and confident’.
‘This transition must be seamless,’ Cuomo said. ‘We have a lot going on. I’m very worried about the Delta variant, so should you be, but she can come up to speed quickly.’
Cuomo in his roughly 20-minute-long address called the attorney general’s report, released last Tuesday ‘false’. But apologized to multiple women he ‘truly offended’.
‘This is not to say that there are not 11 women I truly offended. There are. And for that, I deeply, deeply apologize,’ Cuomo stated.
‘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.’
Though Cuomo continued to deny that he sexually harassed the women, he said that ‘it is in your best interest that I must serve’. The governor said, ‘I truly believe it is politically motivated’, but acknowledged that fighting the findings ‘will consume government’ and ‘cost taxpayers millions of dollars’.
‘All that time would be wasted,’ Cuomo said. ‘This is one of the most challenging times for government in a generation. Government really needs to function today, government needs to perform. It is a matter of life or death.’
In a press briefing just before Cuomo spoke, his lawyer Rita Glavin said that the New York attorney general’s report ‘contains errors’.
Glavin criticized the attorney general office’s investigators and said, ‘This was not about an independent review of the allegations and the circumstances surrounding them’.