On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andre Cuomo announced that he is resigning over the many sexual harassment allegations against him after a year in which he was praised for his leadership and daily briefings during New York’s darkest days of the pandemic.
This decision comes after New York’s attorney general released the results of an investigation that proved that Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women. The accusations began last December and went on through the subsequent months. Cuomo fought most of these allegations, calling some of them fabricated and denying that he touched anyone inappropriately.
Cuomo also portrayed some of these encounters as misunderstandings, blaming “generational or cultural differences” and bringing up his upbringing in an affectionate Italian American family. He did, however, admit to making some aides uncomfortable with comments he meant to be playful and apologize.
The attorney general’s investigation backed up the women’s accounts of sexual harassment and added new ones. The investigation said that he subjected women to unwanted kisses; groped their breasts or buttocks or otherwise touched them inappropriately; made insinuating remarks about their looks; and created a work environment “rife with fear and intimidation,” according to AP News.
AP News also reports that the investigation proved that the governor’s staff did retaliate against Lindsey Boylan, the first woman to accuse Cuomo publicly, by leaking confidential personnel files about her.
The decision doesn’t come much as a surprise as most Democrats, including President Joe Biden, advised for Cuomo to step down. His resignation will take effect in two weeks and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a 62-year-old Democrat and former member of Congress from Buffalo will become New York’s 57th governor and the first woman to hold that position.