© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference, in New York, United States, May 10, 2021. Mary Altaffer / Pool via REUTERS / File Photo
By Jonathan Allen
NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned on Tuesday following an investigation that found he sexually harassed 11 women, increasing legal pressure and demands for his departure from President Joe Biden and others, a surprising fall for a man once considered a potential presidential candidate.
Cuomo, a Democrat who since 2011 had been governor of the fourth most populous U.S. state, made the announcement after New York Attorney General Letitia James released the results on August 3 https://www.reuters.com/ world / us / new-york-ag-says-probe-found-gov-cuomo-sexually-harrassed-multiple-women-broke-2021-08-03 of a five-month independent investigation which concluded that he had engaged in conduct that violated US and state laws.
The investigation, detailed in a 168-page report https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/2021.08.03_nyag_-_investigative_report.pdf, found that Cuomo groped, kissed or made suggestive comments to women, including current and former women. officials – including a state soldier – and retaliated against at least one woman who accused him of sexual misconduct. Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat from western New York, will serve as governor of the state of more than 19 million people until the end of Cuomo’s term in December 2022, as reported in the constitution of the state, becoming the first woman to hold this position. .
Cuomo’s resignation marks the second time in 13 years that a New York governor has resigned over a scandal, after Eliot Spitzer left in 2008 because of his patronage of prostitutes. Cuomo also became the last powerful man to be shot in recent years following the rise of the #MeToo social movement against sexual abuse and harassment that rocked politics, Hollywood, the business world and the workplace.
His resignation spared Cuomo a possible removal from office through impeachment proceedings in the state legislature. An ongoing impeachment inquiry had only promised to escalate.
Cuomo, 63, was elected to three terms as governor, as was his late father, Mario Cuomo. He previously served as Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1997 to 2001 under former President Bill Clinton.
Like his father, Andrew Cuomo was never a presidential candidate despite speculation about his possible national ambitions. He gained national notoriety last year at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic after holding daily press conferences as his state became the US epicenter of the public health crisis.
The civil investigation found that the actions of Cuomo and his senior advisers violated several federal and state laws, but James did not pursue criminal charges. Local prosecutors are free to do so, which means Cuomo could still face legal danger.
Local prosecutors in Manhattan, Nassau County, Albany County and Westchester County said after the report was released that they were investigating the case and had requested evidence from the independent investigation. The New York mayor has said Cuomo should face criminal charges.
Cuomo had denied for months the growing allegations of sexual harassment – and renewed those denials after the investigative report was released. But what was left of his political support collapsed after the findings were made public. Hours later, Biden – a friend of the governor for years – told reporters at the White House https://www.reuters.com/world/us/white-house-calls-cuomo-findings-abhorrent-says -biden-will -address-later-2021-08-03: “I think he should resign.”
Other prominent Democrats, including the two US state senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have also lined up to call the party’s former star. to resign.
Investigators https://www.reuters.com/article/us-new-york-cuomo-lawyers/former-top-us-prosecutor-in-new-york-took-lead-on-cuomo-probe-idUSKBN2F42JA have concluded that Cuomo and his associates have created a “toxic” and “hostile” workplace in an office plagued by intimidation, fear and intimidation. The sexual harassment complaints emerged after broader criticism from Democratic politicians in New York City that Cuomo was ruling through intimidation.
Cuomo last year appeared to be a rising politician https://www.reuters.com/world/us/comforter-in-chief-persona-non-grata-cuomos-stunning-fall-2021-08-03, presenting himself as an authoritative figure in televised press conferences on the pandemic. His image has been tarnished by television interviews with his younger brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo.
Shortly after James, a fellow Democrat, detailed the findings, Cuomo, the divorced father of three adult daughters, released a video statement https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/video-audio-rush -transcript-governor- cuomo-responds-independent-reviewer-report in which he said: “I have never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”
“It’s just not who I am,” Cuomo said in the video, saying what women described as sexual advances were harmless gestures and comments inspired by a natural physical warmth from the culture in which he was raised. In the video, he indicated that he had no intention of resigning, referring in particular to the fight against the pandemic.
A Marist poll http://maristpoll.marist.edu/marist-poll-results-analysis-governor-andrew-cuomo/#sthash.Zx6wYGys.8sJphJMv.dpbs published a day after the publication of the report showed that 59% of New- Yorkers wanted Cuomo to step down, compared with 32% who said he should serve his term and 9% who were unsure. Among Democrats, however, only 52% were in favor of resigning.