New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said he would resign as governor, effective in 14 days, in the wake of an attorney general’s report that concluded he sexually harassed multiple women and even sought to retaliate against an accuser who went public with her allegations.
The investigation led to top Democrats, including President Biden, calling for him to step down.
Cuomo made the announcement in an online video in which he maintained his innocence and characterized the attorney general’s report into sexual misconduct allegations against him as “unfairly motivated … untruthful.”
“I think that given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing, and therefore that is what I’ll do because I work for you, and doing the right thing, is doing the right thing for you,” Cuomo said Tuesday.<
Last week, the state’s attorney general released a 165-page scathing report that concluded the third-term Democrat sexually harassed 11 women, nine of whom were state employees.
Prosecutors said their findings substantiated allegations from several women. The allegations included unwanted and nonconsensual touching and sexual comments.
“In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone. But I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn,” Cuomo said. “There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate. And I should have — no excuses.”
Kathy Hochul, a former member of Congress from western New York who has served as Cuomo’s lieutenant governor since 2015, will become the first woman to lead New York’s executive branch. The governor described Hochul as “smart and confident.” He pledged to make the transition of power to the lieutenant governor seamless.
“I am prepared to lead,” she said in a statement, calling Cuomo’s resignation “the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers.”