New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said he’ll resign, after a scathing report from the state attorney general’s office alleged he sexually harassed nearly a dozen women from 2013 to 2020. Cuomo, who’s insisted he’s done nothing wrong, said he’ll leave office in 14 days.
“I think that given the circumstances the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government,” said Cuomo. “Therefore that is what I’ll do, because I work for you, and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you.”
Multiple Democratic leaders, including President Joe Biden, have called for Cuomo to resign since the report was released last week. Cuomo was also facing a possible impeachment by the New York State Assembly.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will take over the rest of Cuomo’s term, becoming the first woman to be governor of New York.
Cuomo’s press briefing on Tuesday announcing his resignation was in stark contrast to the regular briefings he gave a year ago during the first wave of the. Cuomo was praised by many for his efforts as New York was hit hard by the virus, though that reputation was tarnished earlier this year after his administration was accused of significantly underreporting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.
After an investigation lasting nearly five months, New York Attorney General Letitia James on Aug. 3 released a report accusing Cuomo of sexually harassing 11 women, including current and former state employees. Cuomo engaged in unwanted “groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments,” according to James, and allegedly retaliated against one former employee who came forward about the harassment.
On Tuesday, Biden commented on Cuomo’s announcement. “I respect the governor’s decision,” the president said in response to a reporter’s question following. Biden also praised Cuomo’s professional work, saying he’d done a “hell of a job” on “everything from access to voting to infrastructure to a whole range of things. That’s why it’s so sad.”