A group of New York’s top Democratic lawmakers are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to step down due to mounting sexual harassment claims, questioning his “ability to continue to lead” amid the ongoing scandals surrounding him. As of press time, five women have come forward – four of them former aides or advisers – claiming that Cuomo made inappropriate comments or came on to them. Attorney General Letitia James’ office is overseeing a review of the allegations against the governor.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie made the unprecedented move Sunday, just hours after the governor declared that he has no intention of resigning. Stewart-Cousins said Cuomo’s behavior and the state’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic have become too much of a distraction, adding in a statement: “New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it. We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Gov. Cuomo must resign.” Heastie issued his own statement in agreement with Stewart-Cousins, saying: “We have many challenges to address, and I think it is time for the Governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York.”
In a conference call with reporters on Sunday, Cuomo was combative and defiant, and said demands for his resignation was “anti-democratic,” adding, “There is no way I resign.” Earlier in the day the Governor said those seeking his resignation are doing so purely for political gain: “I have a news flash for you: There is politics in politics. They don’t override the people’s will. They don’t override elections.”
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