New York's governor Andrew Cuomo resigned today due to a sexual-harassment scandal that's quickly engulfed any goodwill that his national profile has brought about. In 14 days, he'll officially be out of office, ending a decade-long run as governor.
Over the past five months, multiple women, including current state employees and former ones, have publicly accused Cuomo of harassing and inappropriate behavior. In addition to facing criticism for withholding real COVID-19 death tolls in nursing homes, he's faced mounting calls for resignation in the midst of his situations.
On August third, a long-awaited investigative report from Attorney General Letitia James' office revealed explosive accusations by 11 women that Cuomo allegedly sexually harassed. He reportedly touched, grabbed and made inappropriate comments towards them, and also retaliated against at least one of them when she came forward with her story.
One of the accusers was an executive assistant that accused Cuomo of reaching underneath her blouse and groping her breast during an encounter back in November of 2020.
In a briefing, James spoke about the situation. "This investigation has revealed conduct that corrodes the very fabric that makes our state government and shines a light on injustice present at the highest levels of government," she said.
In a response video, Cuomo said that he "never touched anyone inappropriately," while also clarifying the way that he touches people when connecting with them. "I actually learned it from my mother and from my father," he explained about his way of touching people on cheeks and kissing their faces. "Indeed, there are hundred, if not thousands, of photos of me using the exact same gesture."
He continued, "I do it with everyone. Black and white, young and old, straight and LGBTQ, powerful people, friends, strangers, people who I meet on the street."
Cuomo's recent announcement about resigning came in an on-camera address that followed a presentation by his attorney, Rita Glavin.
In his place will be Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul of Buffalo, who will make history for being the first woman to serve as New York's governor. She will fill out the remainder of his term that runs throughout 2022.