By Sophie Boulter, World News Editor
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned from his post on Tuesday after a slew of sexual harassment allegations. The resignation will go into effect 14 days after the announcement on Aug. 24.
His oust comes just a week after the release of New York Attorney General Letitia James’s 165-page report detailing his sexual harassment of 11 women, unlawful retaliation against women who spoke out and a toxic workplace.
Cuomo did not confirm or deny the allegations during his resignation; instead, he called them a “distraction” from gubernatorial duties.
“The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing,” Cuomo said during his resignation.
His statement came minutes after his lawyer, Rita Glavin, criticized James’s report.
“From day one, this was about building a case against Gov. Cuomo,” Glavin said.
His resignation may release him from possibly lengthy impeachment trials. Some Assembly Members, such as Manhattan Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, have stated that the impeachment investigation should carry on.
Cuomo’s resignation will not prevent ongoing criminal investigations into his conduct.
Albany County District Attorney David Soares said that Cuomo’s resignation “does not” impact his investigation of Cuomo’s actions as detailed in James’s report.
The Attorney General’s report, released on August 3, described “a hostile work environment for women” working for Cuomo. Cuomo “sexually harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments.”
According to the report, Cuomo’s staffers retaliated against at least one of his accusers.
In the week between the publishing of the report and Cuomo’s resignation, Cuomo faced escalating calls to resign from New York legislators and national Democrats.
Along with two thirds of the New York state senate, President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called for Cuomo’s resignation. New York Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer also called for Cuomo’s resignation.
One of Cuomo’s accusers, Karen Hinton, stated that while she was not “celebrating” Cuomo’s resignation, she does “celebrate the power of women who came forward.”
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will take Cuomo’s place on Aug. 24, becoming the first female governor of New York.
Hochul was elected lieutenant governor as Cuomo’s running mate in 2014. She and Cuomo were reelected in 2018.
In addition to her experience as lieutenant governor and a US House Representative, she co-founded the Kathleen Mary House, a refuge for domestic violence victims.
In a tweet, Hochul said she agreed with Cuomo’s decision to step down.
Hochul stated, “I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor.”