New York governor Andrew Cuomo resigns

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo has announced his resignation over sexual-harassment scandal that engulfed his administration and derailed his political future, capping a remarkable and rapid fall for a governor whose national profile had risen to extraordinary heights during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo, a Democrat, on Tuesday, August, 10, said his resignation will take effect in 14 days, ending a decade-long run in the office he dedicated most of his adult life to keeping within his family — first as an adviser to his father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo, before winning three terms himself.

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.

With Cuomo stepping down, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul of Buffalo will make history as the first woman to serve as New York governor. She will be sworn in after Cuomo's resignation takes effect and is set to fill out the remainder of his term, which runs through 2022.

Cuomo, 63, had defiantly resisted calls for his resignation over the the past five months, a period in which multiple women, including current and former state employees, publicly accused him of inappropriate or harassing behavior in some form.

His administration has also faced extensive criticism for purposefully withholding the true COVID-19 death toll of nursing home residents for months, a decision that has attracted scrutiny from federal prosecutors in Brooklyn. 

The most damaging — and ultimately fatal — blow came Aug. 3, when state Attorney General Letitia James' office released a report that found Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, including nine state employees, violating various state and federal laws along the way.

Among them was an executive assistant who accused Cuomo of reaching under her blouse and groping her breast during a November 2020 encounter at the Executive Mansion, which Cuomo continues to deny despite the attorney general's report finding the woman's claims "credible."

Cuomo said his decision in an address following a lengthy presentation by his outside attorney, Rita Glavin, who sought to cast doubt on many of his accusers' claims and continued to deny Cuomo had ever touched them inappropriately.

In recent months, Cuomo had vehemently vowed to not resign, saying it was the people, not politicians, who elected him to his third term in 2018.

But Cuomo ultimately faced an untenable choice: either step down or face impeachment, which looked increasingly like a fait accompli as more and more state lawmakers called for his ouster.

"(It) is abundantly clear to me that the Governor has lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office," Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, said in a statement Aug. 3 after refraining for months to call for Cuomo's ouster

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