A protester holds up a sign that reads "TIMES UP GOV. CUOMO" outside of the Manhattan office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
March 7 (UPI) -- Two leaders of the New York state legislature called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign on Sunday, while the governor reiterated that he does not plan to step down.
New York Senate leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat, issued a statement calling for Cuomo's resignation as he faces mounting allegations of sexual harassment and a separate investigation into his handling of the state's nursing homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Every day, there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government," Stewart-Cousins said, according to The New York Times. "We need to govern without daily distraction. Governor Cuomo must resign."
Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, also a Democrat, issued a statement saying he shared Stewart-Cousins' sentiment and said the allegations against Cuomo "have been deeply disturbing and have no place whatsoever in government, the workplace or anywhere else."
"We have many challenges to address, and I think it is time for the governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York," he said.
In a conference call with reporters earlier Sunday, Cuomo said there was "no way" he would resign before the completion of an inquiry into the allegations by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
He added it would be "anti-democratic" to resign based solely on the accusations, stating he was elected by the people and not politicians.
The call for Cuomo's resignation came after two new allegations from former aides over the weekend.
One ex-aide, Karen Hinton, told The Washington Post on Saturday that Cuomo made sexual advances toward her in a hotel room in 2000, which she resisted.
Cuomo said that the accusation was not true, describing Hinton as "a longtime political adversary of mine."
Hinton told The New York Times that "truth is the 'longtime adversary' that Cuomo fears the most."
"Trump may be gone, but Cuomo has stepped right into his shoes by blaming the abused for his own abusive behavior," she said.
Another former aide, Ana Liss, told The Wall Street Journal that Cuomo asked her if she had a boyfriend, called her sweetheart, touched her lower back at a reception and once kissed her hand describing his conduct as "not appropriate, really, in any setting."
In total five women have come forward accusing Cuomo of unwanted touching and kissing, and sexual harassment, as the governor last week said he was "embarrassed" for making people feel uncomfortable but stating he "never touched anyone inappropriately."