Andrew Cuomo Resigns As Governor Of New York

by Julie Scagell
Spencer Platt/Getty

Andrew Cuomo was found in violation of federal and state law for sexually harassing coworkers

Andrew Cuomo has announced he will be resigning from his office as governor of the state of New York amid the ongoing claims of sexual harassment and creating a toxic workplace environment — claims the state attorney general’s office found to be true and “credible.”

Cuomo said his resignation will be effective in 14 days. Democratic Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be sworn in to replace him in what Cuomo is calling a “seamless” transition. Once sworn in, Hochul will become the first female governor of New York. The report, which was released last week by Letitia James, the state attorney general, found Cuomo has sexually harassed multiple women, violating federal and state law.

The investigators said 11 women had accused Cuomo and interviewed 179 witnesses and collected thousands of documents to corroborate the claims. “We found all 11 women to be credible,” employment lawyer Anne Clark said of the report. “There was corroboration to various degrees.”

Upon announcing his resignation, Cuomo said that, “the best way I can help now” is to step down from office. “This situation by its current trajectory will generate months of political and legal controversy,” he added. “It will consume government.”

In her 165-page report, James found Cuomo sexually harassed current and former government workers. The harassment ranged from unwanted touching, inappropriate comments, and nonconsensual touching of “intimate body parts.”

Addressing the public, Cuomo said, “If I could communicate the facts through the frenzy, New Yorkers would understand, I believe that.” He also said his instinct is to fight but after hearing he has little political support to move forward with his career, he decided to step down. Cuomo was facing the threat of impeachment in the State Assembly.

Talking directly to his daughters, he continued: “Your dad made mistakes. And he apologized. And he learned from it. And that’s what life is all about.”

Cuomo was elected governor of New York in 2010 and had since been re-elected twice. By resigning before his third term ends, he will not match the three full terms that his father, Mario Cuomo, served as governor.

Shortly before his resignation, his attorney, Rita Glavin, seemed to be telling the public his defense. “This is about the veracity and credibility of a report that is being used to impeach and take down an elected official,” Glavin said.

“There’s a difference between being an affectionate and warm person. Sexual harassment is completely different,” Brittany Commisso, one of the women who is referenced in Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation, told CBS This Morning. “The governor knows that what he did to me and what he did to these 10 other women, whether it be a comment or an actual physical contact, was sexual harassment. He broke the laws that he himself created.”