New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation Tuesday following allegations that he sexually harassed at least 11 women.
“And I think that given the circumstances the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government, and therefore that is what I’ll do, because I work for you, and doing the right thing, is doing the right thing for you,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said his resignation would go into effect in two weeks. Democrat Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will serve for the remainder of Cuomo’s term as New York’s first female governor.
“Kathy Hochul, my lieutenant governor, is smart and competent. This transition must be seamless. We have a lot going on. I’m very worried about the delta variant and so should you be,” he added.
Cuomo proudly said he and his team made New York the “progressive capital of the nation,” claiming “no other state government accomplished more to help people.”
Addressing his three daughters, Cuomo said, “I want them to know from the bottom of my heart that I never did and I never would intentionally disrespect a woman, treat any woman differently than I would want them treated and that is the God’s honest truth.”
“Your dad made mistakes. And he apologized, and he learned from it and that’s what life is all about.”
Earlier this month, Attorney General James said during a press conference that an investigation into the allegations concluded Cuomo “sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”
The nearly five-month investigation entailed interviews with 179 people, including an 11-hour interview with Cuomo himself last month. It was sparked by complaints from 11 women who alleged Cuomo inappropriately touched them or made sexually suggestive remarks, which were corroborated in the investigation.
After the report was released, President Joe Biden called for the governor’s resignation.
“I think he should resign,” Biden told reporters at the White House.
In December, Gov. Cuomo was nominated for Time’s Person of the Year. The publication has named a “Person of the Year” for nearly 100 years, recognizing an individual or group that has had “the greatest influence on the events of the year—for better or worse.” A wide range of figures have received the distinction, including Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, President John F. Kennedy, The Computer, President Barack Obama, civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope Francis.