By Jake Johnson / Common Dreams
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that he will resign from office in 14 days as he faces an accelerating impeachment push over allegations that he sexually harassed multiple women, including current and former government employees.
Cuomo’s announcement came a week after New York Attorney General Letitia James released an investigative report that accused the three-term governor of groping, kissing, and hugging staffers without their consent, conduct described as a violation of “multiple state and federal laws.” The report, compiled by a team of independent investigators, also said that Cuomo created a toxic work environment for women staffers by “making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature.”
Before announcing his coming departure after a scandal-plagued decade in power, Cuomo continued to deny the sexual harassment allegations leveled against him by at least 11 women, dismissing them as “politically motivated.” The governor also described the looming impeachment effort as a “distraction.”
“Wasting energy on distractions is the last thing that state government should be doing,” Cuomo said in a video address on Tuesday. “And I cannot be the cause of that… Given the circumstances the best way I can help now is to step aside and let government get back to governing.”
Cuomo will be replaced by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat.
Some Democratic members of the New York State Assembly made clear that they do not view Cuomo’s resignation as a form of accountability and argued that lawmakers should continue to pursue impeachment, which—if successful—would bar Cuomo from running for governor again in the future.
“I believe we can still move forward with impeachment,” said Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou.