New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigns in wake of harassment report

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has resigned after an inquiry found that he sexually harassed multiple women, prompting efforts to remove him. “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’s what I’ll do, because I work for you, and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you,” Governor Cuomo said, addressing New Yorkers directly in televised remarks on Tuesday. The resignation will take effect in 14 days.

The resignation came a week after a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James that said Mr. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in violation of state and federal laws, created a hostile work environment and retaliated against at least one former employee. Mr Cuomo had been facing pressure to resign from fellow Democrats, including President Joe Biden. Mr Cuomo is the third New York governor in a row to leave office under a cloud of scandal. Cuomo vehemently disputed the findings of the state’s investigation and signalled he would fight the claims. In the end, his fall from power came with head-snapping speed. Just a year ago he was basking in adulation as millions of Americans tuned in daily to his no-nonsense televised briefings on the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo also became the latest powerful man taken down in recent years following the rise of the #MeToo social movement against sexual abuse and harassment that has shaken politics, Hollywood, the business world and the workplace. Kathy Hochul, New York Lieutenant Governor will take over from Cuomo in 14 days, becoming the first female governor of the state.