Eleven women had accused Cuomo of touching them inappropriately, commenting on their appearance or making suggestive remarks about their sex lives.
On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation days after an inquiry showed that he had sexually harassed nearly a dozen women, reported AFP.
“I think that given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let [the] government get back to [the] government,” Cuomo said in a live address. “My resignation will be effective in 14 days.”
The Democrat leader also claimed that the controversy was “politically motivated,” reported BBC. “I believe it is unfair and it is untruthful and I believe it demonises behaviour that is unsustainable for society,” he said.
Cuomo said the “current trajectory” of the scandal would generate months of controversy that would cost taxpayers a lot of money. “Wasting energy on distractions is the last thing that state government should be doing, and I can’t be the cause of that,” he added.
On August 3, a non-criminal investigation, overseen by New York’s Attorney General Letitia James, concluded that 11 women employees, some of whom are working with the state government, were telling the truth when they said Cuomo had touched them inappropriately, commented on their appearance or made suggestive remarks about their sex lives.
James had said Cuomo engaged “in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous comments of a suggestive sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”
The investigation also concluded that Cuomo and his senior team retaliated against at least one former employee for coming forward with her ordeal.
The White House welcomed his resignation, saying it was at the behest of President Joe Biden. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “The President made clear his views last week and those stand. Our view is that this is a story about these courageous women who came forward, told their stories, shared their stories. And the investigation overseen by the attorney general that, of course, completed today in an outcome that the President called for just last week.”
Cuomo’s resignation comes following a report by state Attorney General Letitia James (D) that found he had sexually harassed 11 women and engaged in inappropriate conduct with current and former staffers as well as at least one state trooper who was assigned to his protective detail.
“These interviews and pieces of evidence reveal a deeply disturbing, yet clear picture: Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of both federal and state laws. The independent investigation found that Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging and by making inappropriate comments,” James said last week.
Cuomo will be replaced by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who will become New York’s first female governor.