New York state governor, Andrew Cuomo, has resigned following an investigation by the state attorney general that found he sexually harassed multiple women, most of whom worked for him, and also retaliated after some made complaints.
The Democratic governor had lost the support of the party establishment, with Joe Biden calling on Cuomo to resign and similar demands issued by House speaker Nancy Pelosi, both of New York’s US Senators – one of whom is Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer – two Democratic New York congressmen, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and a host of Republicans in Washington DC.
Cuomo had initially stood defiant on the day the New York attorney general, Letitia James, had announced the findings of a five-month investigation in which she concluded he had harassed eleven women and violated civil law against workplace misconduct.
The 63-year-old governor issued a video address shortly after James issued the report of the investigation, on Tuesday 3 August, in which he said: “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances” and added “It’s just not who I am.”
Among the allegations was that Cuomo reached under the blouse of an executive assistant and grabbed her breast and that he ran his finger down the spine of a female state trooper assigned to protect him.
James had noted that was significant corroboration and other supporting evidence relating to the allegations against the governor.
“I believe these 11 women,” she said. James also accused Cuomo of creating a “toxic workplace” and having violated federal and state civil laws against workplace harassment and retaliation, noting that any criminal charges would be the purview of prosecutors, not her office.
Cuomo started work as the campaign manager for his father, eventually becoming governor himself in 2011. He had been re-elected twice and had been discussed as a potential candidate for US president. Cuomo had been expected to run for a fourth term as governor next year.