New York politicians are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign following the release of the results of the scathing independent investigation conducted by the Attorney General's Office that found he was a serial sexual harasser.
On Tuesday, Aug. 3, New York AG Letitia James released the findings of a five-month independent investigation that found the governor allegedly fostered a toxic workplace environment while also subjecting state employees to unwanted touching and inappropriate dialogue.
- Earlier story - Cuomo Sexually Harassed 'Multiple Women,' Including State Trooper, Scathing AG Report Charges
In response, politicians from both sides of the aisle, women's groups, and New Yorkers are calling for Cuomo to step down and resign following the release of the report.
“We have received the Attorney General’s 168-page report containing findings of sexual harassment and misconduct committed by Gov. Cuomo. The findings contained in the report are disturbing,” House Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement.
“The details provided by the victims are gut-wrenching. Our hearts go out to all the individuals who have had to endure this horrible experience,” he continued. “The conduct by the governor outlined in this report would indicate someone who is not fit for office.”
Heastie said the report has been forwarded to the members of the Judiciary Committee as well as all members of the Assembly.
"We will now undertake an in-depth examination of the report and its corresponding exhibits with our Assembly counsels as well the legal firm we have retained to assist us," Heastie said.
Charlotte Bennett, one of Cuomo's first accusers who was the subject of some of the most disturbing aspects of the report, took to social media to call for Cuomo to step down, simply saying "Resign, @NYGovCuomo."
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran agreed, tweeting, "The Attorney General’s findings are clear. The Governor must resign immediately."
In a joint statement, New York's two US Senators, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Kirsten Gillibrand said, "No elected official is above the law. The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor's office. We continue to believe that the governor should resign."
"It was clear months ago that Andrew Cuomo was no longer fit to lead our state," Assemblyman Mike Lawler said. "Today, it became emphatically clear that he must not be allowed to lead our state another day, after breaking multiple federal and state laws."
"If Governor Cuomo won't step down today, then he must be impeached immediately. Speaker Heastie must immediately call us back for a special session to impeach this lawless and predatory governor."
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called Cuomo’s alleged behavior “unacceptable,” while calling for him to step away from Albany.
“As I said, when these disturbing allegations first came to light, the governor must resign for the good of the state,” she stated. “Now that the investigation is complete and the allegations have been substantiated, it should be clear to everyone that he can no longer serve as governor.
“Our highest elected offices must reflect the values and integrity that they profess and New Yorkers hold dear.”
State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt called “today a sad and sobering day for all New Yorkers.”
“The Attorney General’s findings confirm and reinforce the allegations brought by the brave women who came forward against a powerful figure — that Andrew Cuomo is a serial harasser, unfit to hold public office,” he said. “In the wake of another devastating report, now more than ever Andrew Cuomo must resign. If he fails to do so, the legislature must immediately reconvene to take action to remove him.”
“The Attorney General’s findings are clear and compelling,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer said. “The governor must resign. The patterns of sexually harassing, intimidating, and inappropriate behavior towards women cannot be tolerated.”
"As we have said before, the reported actions of the Governor were profoundly disturbing, inappropriate, and completely unacceptable," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in a joint statement. "Today’s report from the New York State Attorney General substantiated and corroborated the allegations of the brave women who came forward to share their stories -- and we commend the women for doing so.
"No elected official is above the law. The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor’s office. We continue to believe that the governor should resign.”
Hudson Valley Republican Assemblyman Colin Schmidt said that “upon review of the report from the Independent Special Counsel's Investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s office, it is evident that Gov. Cuomo must immediately resign and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said. "No one is above the law, including Andrew Cuomo.”
Some have also called on the Assembly leaders to call for a special session to advance the impeachment inquiry that has been ongoing for months.
State Sen. Pete Harckham, who represents parts of the Hudson Valley, joined the cacophony of voices calling for Cuomo’s head in a statement of his own condemning the governor and his administration’s attempt to cover up his misdeeds.
“The report released by Attorney General James finds Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed numerous women, which violates state and federal law,” he stated. “He must resign immediately. Those on his staff involved in the unlawful retaliation and coverup of the crimes must also resign.”
Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, an outspoken Cuomo critic, said that “no one is above the law and today justice must be served. President Joe Biden must immediately call for Cuomo’s resignation.”
Following the release of the report, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who would be next in line to serve as governor if Cuomo is ousted via impeachment or resignation, issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon.
"Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace, and certainly not in public service," she wrote in a statement. "The Attorney General’s investigation has documented repulsive and unlawful behavior by the governor towards multiple women. I believe these brave women and admire their courage coming forward.
"No one is above the law. Under the New York Constitution, the Assembly will now determine the next steps."
This continues to be a developing story. Check back Daily Voice for updates.
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