New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday announced he would resign effective in a fortnight following a report from Federal Prosecutor Letitia James which details his alleged sexual harassment of female staffers.
Ironically, Cuomo's departure will result in the access of the first woman to the position of New York Governor when Kathy Hochul is sworn in.
Cuomo leaves but still faces possible criminal charges and civil cases, so the end to his political career is now the least of his worries.
When that document became publick knowledge, US President and fello Democrat Joseph Biden had said “I think he should resign.” For five days since the report was published, Cuomo nevertheless had clung to power, eventually loosened from his grip as even his most loyal acolytes deserted him.
Cuomo became Governor in 2011 and was re-elected in 2014 and 2018. He was said to have plans to run again in 2022 and even under the present ciorcumstances, Cuomo insisted he did nothing wrong, only that there were generational or cultural changes that he had failed to understand.
When he began his address to the people of New York, it seemed he would remain defiant. Alleged misconduct is not the same as sexual harassment, he said.
His resignation will spare him an impeachment trial which would in his own words consume time and money that should be used to combat COVID-19.
Cuomo was found to have groped, kissed or made suggestive comments to 11 women in last week's report, prompting calls for a criminal investigation and his resignation.
Following Cuomo's announcement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter: Make no mistake, this is the result of survivors bravely telling their stories. It was past time for Andrew Cuomo to resign and it's for the good of all New York.
Cuomo had been widely hailed nationally for his leadership at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. His father, Mario Cuomo, was governor in the 1980s and '90s.
According to press reports, Cuomo's administration was a hostile work environment that was rife with fear. The coup de grace was delivered through Brittany Commisso, an executive assistant to Cuomo, who agreed waive her right to anonymity on Monday.
She told CBS that Cuomo's behavior towards her had become progressively sexual. I believe he groped me, he touched me, not only once, but twice. She also claims Cuomo touched her bottom while the pair were posing for a photograph.
On his first day in office in 2011, Cuomo promised to bring back integrity to the state capitol.