N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigns in wake of sexual harassment report

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigns in wake of sexual harassment report
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to news media in Manhattan on May 5. Cuomo announced his resignation on Tuesday in the wake of a report that said he sexually harassed several women. File Photo by Spencer Platt/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 10 (UPI) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation on Tuesday in the wake of a damning state attorney general's report that found he'd sexually harassed nearly a dozen women in recent years.

Cuomo will be replaced by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who will become New York governor.


Cuomo, who said his resignation will be effective in 14 days, continued to proclaim his innocence in his resignation announcement, saying that the attorney general's report was flawed.

But given the controversy swirling around him, he said the best thing he could do "is to step aside and let the government get back to governing," Cuomo said. "Therefore that's what I'll do. I work for you, and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you. As we say, it's not about me, it's about we."

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In his speech, Cuomo said he takes "full responsibility" for his actions, saying that some of the complaints against him were a part of shifting cultural norms that he did not pick up on.


"I have been too familiar with people," Cuomo said. "My sense of humor can be insensitive and off-putting. I do hug and kiss people casually, women and men. I have done it all of my life. It's who I have been since I can remember.

"In my mind, I never crossed the line with anyone. But I didn't realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I didn't fully appreciate, and I should have."

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New York Attorney General Letitia James said her investigation found Cuomo harassed 11 women inside and outside of government and took steps to retaliate against at least one of his accusers. James said, though, Cuomo's actions amounted to criminal conduct.

"This is a sad day for New York because independent investigators have concluded that Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and, in doing so, broke the law," James said last week about her investigation.

After refusing calls to resign last week Cuomo rejected the allegations and charges that he fostered a toxic work environment.

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The New York State Assembly's Judiciary Committee met Monday to consider impeachment charges against Cuomo based on James's report.


The committee had been conducting its own investigation into Cuomo when charges first surfaced against him. Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavine said Monday that the committee would make its decision on a possible impeachment recommendation "within a very short period of time."

It is undetermined how Cuomo's resignation now affects those proceedings. If Cuomo is impeached, he would be barred from running for state office again in New York.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who often bumped heads with Cuomo, said he agreed with the resignation.

"It was past time for Andrew Cuomo to resign and it's for the good of all New York," de Blasio said, according to the New York Times.

U.S. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Cuomo's decision was the "right decision for the good people of New York" and that he has "full confidence" in Hochul, according to the Times.

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