Story at a glance
- Following the addition of two more accusers over the weekend, New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat, said Cuomo should step down.
- Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie questioned the governor’s ability to lead amid the scandals but stopped short of calling for him to step down.
- Cuomo, however, said he has no intention of stepping down and has urged the public to wait until the conclusion of the investigation from the state attorney general before they make a judgement.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is facing calls to resign from prominent members of his own party amid mounting allegations of sexual harassment and a scandal over COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.
Multiple women have come forward publicly in recent days saying they were sexually harassed or made to feel uncomfortable by Cuomo. The governor last week apologized for potentially making anyone uncomfortable, but denied ever touching anyone inappropriately. The state’s attorney general is investigating the claims.
Following the addition of two more accusers over the weekend, New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat, said Cuomo should step down.
“Everyday there is another account that is drawing from the business of government. We have allegations about sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the COVID-19 nursing home data and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement.
“New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it. We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.”
State Sen. Liz Krueger, a prominent Democrat from Manhattan, also urged the governor to resign, saying the state “is rightly crying out for truthful, transparent government. The people’s business is too pressing to continue to be derailed in this way.”
Meanwhile, assembly Speaker Carl Heastie questioned the governor’s ability to lead amid the scandals but stopped short of calling for him to step down.
“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,” Heastie said, calling the allegations leveled at Cuomo “deeply disturbing.”
Cuomo, however, said he has no intention of stepping down and has urged the public to wait until the conclusion of the investigation from the state attorney general before they make a judgement.
“There are some legislators who suggest that I resign because of the accusations that are made against me,” Cuomo said Sunday on a call with reporters.
“I was elected by the people of the state, I wasn’t elected by politicians. I’m not going to resign because of allegations. The premise of resigning because of allegations is actually anti-democratic and we’ve always done the exact opposite,” he said.
Lindsey Boylan, a former adviser to Cuomo, said he kissed her on the lips without consent in 2018 and made unwanted sexual advances toward her. Charlotte Bennett, an ex-aide, told the New York Times Cuomo had asked her questions about her sex life, if she had ever had sex with older men and if she believed age made a difference in romantic relationships, comments she interpreted as overtures to a sexual relationship.
The Wall Street Journal on Saturday published claims by Ana Liss who said Cuomo asked if she had a boyfriend, called her “sweetheart” and kissed her hand while she served as an aide from 2013 to 2015. Also Saturday, The Washington Post published a claim by Karen Hinton, who worked for Cuomo when he was federal housing secretary, detailing an interaction in a hotel room when Cuomo allegedly gave her a hug that was “very long, too long, too tight, too intimate.”
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