Live updates: Cuomo resigns as New York governor
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigning over sexual harassment allegations (all times local):
An attorney for a former aide of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his resignation shows “the growing power of women’s voices” since the #MeToo movement began.
Debra S. Katz represents Charlotte Bennett, who has said she understood Cuomo was propositioning her when he asked her what she thought about relationships between people of very different ages.
“We are humbled by Charlotte’s and the other complainants’ remarkable courage in coming forward,” Katz said.
Katz noted how investigators relied on Bennett’s contemporaneous text messages that relayed her experiences and interactions with Cuomo and lauded the investigators who produced the report last week that detailed allegations of sexual harassment.
She called Cuomo’s resignation “an important step” but said she was “sickened” by Cuomo’s attacks on investigators.
Two local prosecutors are saying they will continue investigations into possible criminal actions by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
In Albany, a former aide to the governor, Brittany Commisso, filed a criminal complaint last week. She has said Cuomo sexually harassed her when he hugged, kissed and touched her inappropriately.
A spokesperson for the Albany County district attorney’s office, Cecilia Walsh, said, the office’s “inquiry into criminal conduct in our jurisdiction remains open and pending.”
In Nassau County, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said their investigation is continuing.
Emails seeking comment were sent to the district attorneys of Manhattan, Westchester County and Oswego County. Those prosecutors previously have said they were looking into the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo.
The New York state trooper who told the attorney general’s investigators that Cuomo touched her inappropriately while she was working has not spoken publicly.
Cuomo apologized to her Tuesday before he announced his was resigning. He said he did not remember touching her, but that he believes her when she says that he did.
Attorney Gloria Allred said at a virtual press conference Tuesday afternoon that she represents the trooper, who does not plan to give interviews. But Allred says the trooper “feels that the governor did the right thing in deciding to resign.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the president of the New York state troopers union, Thomas Mungeer, commended the trooper “for having the courage to come forward and reveal the sexual harassment that she endured.”
The first woman to publicly accuse New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has tweeted that she was in awe of the “other women who risked everything to come forward.”
Lindsey Boylan was a former senior aide to Cuomo and went public with allegations of sexual harassment and bullying by him in tweets and an online post earlier this year.
In her statement, Boylan said she had asked Cuomo to stop his abusive behavior, adding it was “a tragedy that so many stood by and watched these abuses happen.”
Cuomo has said that Boylan came forward with her allegations for political reasons. Aides in his office leaked a personnel file for Boylan to journalists after she first published her account.
Another accuser who worked in the governor’s office tweeted a meme in response to Cuomo’s resignation. Ana Liss posted without comment a short clip from the reality show “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” reading in part, “Go home,” “Go away,” and “Bye.”
A spokesperson tells The Associated Press that New York state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is set to take on the duties of lieutenant governor once Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul becomes governor.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation takes effect in two weeks. Hochul will eventually appoint her own successor.
New Yorkers in 2022 will vote for governor and lieutenant governor.
Stewart-Cousins called Tuesday “a somber day” in a statement, but called Hochul a “dedicated leader” with whom she would work with to continue tackling the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding the economy.
When Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in 2008, David Paterson became governor. Senate leaders took over lieutenant governor duties, because there wasn’t a provision for filling in that position in case of a vacancy. Paterson later appointed Rich Ravitch as lieutenant governor on July 7.
There were months of legal challenges, and Cuomo had said governors can’t appoint a lieutenant governor. But the highest court in the state ruled the governor can appoint a lieutenant governor in event of vacancy.
Will the New York state Assembly move forward with its impeachment investigation now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has resigned? Can the Assembly even continue the process?
Those remain open questions. The state constitution says a governor convicted in a Senate impeachment trial could be barred from holding public office in the state.
Democrat Tom Abinanti is an Assembly Judiciary Committee member. He says members are waiting to hear from Chair Chuck Levine about whether the committee will move ahead with plans to wrap up its wide-ranging impeachment probe in “weeks.”
Abinanti said the committee has asked its lawyers if there’s a “legal basis to continue with an impeachment investigation and issue articles of impeachment if the governor resigns.” He says he hopes the committee will proceed with the investigation and make a full report.
New York Attorney General Letitia James oversaw the independent investigation that found Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. She said Cuomo’s resignation Tuesday “closes a sad chapter for all of New York, but it’s an important step towards justice.”
James is a fellow Democrat. While she led the investigation, the actual probe was conducted by two outside lawyers, Anne Clark and Joon Kim.
James has said the investigation and subsequent report was apolitical. Cuomo’s personal lawyer has repeatedly criticized the report.
In a statement Tuesday, James nonetheless thanked Cuomo for his contributions to New York. She also welcomed Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s ascension, saying New York “is in good hands with Lieutenant Governor Hochul at the helm.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo boarded a helicopter in New York City and departed nearly an hour after announcing his resignation.
He left his Manhattan office in a car, surrounded by members of the media and clutching a Dunkin’ cup. He then departed in a helicopter around 1 p.m. Tuesday. He did not stop to speak to reporters.
A woman photographed walking behind him appeared to be one of his daughters.
The White House has weighed in on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation over sexual harassment allegations.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that President Joe Biden did not speak with Cuomo before his resignation and Cuomo did not give the administration advance notice.
Biden and Cuomo were once close allies. But the president called for Cuomo to step down last week in response to an independent investigations’ findings.
Psaki said those views “stand” and that “this is a story about these courageous women who came forward.”
Psaki said that Biden has yet to speak to Kathy Hochul, who will take over in two weeks. But Psaki added that the administration looks forward to working with her.
Votes of confidence have come pouring in for Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is set to take the reins to New York from Gov. Andrew Cuomo in two weeks.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York told reporters at the U.S. Capitol that Hochul is “ready and able and capable of being an extraordinary governor.” She said she would be there to support Hochul as she governs the state through “a very difficult and challenging time.”
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called Tuesday “a somber day,” but called Hochul a “dedicated leader” with whom she would work with to continue tackling the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding the economy.
Former Democratic Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said in a Twitter statement that Hochul was motivated to run for lieutenant governor by “duty to serve, not any personal ambition.”
He added that “no one could be better suited” to become New York’s first female governor.
An attorney for two women who accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment said her clients were “vindicated and relieved that Cuomo will no longer be in a position of power over anyone.”
Mariann Wang represents Alyssa McGrath and Virginia Limmiatis.
Executive assistant McGrath said Cuomo made inappropriate comments, including commenting on her neckline after staring down her loose shirt, regularly asking about her marital status and asking whether she would tell on another aide if she were to cheat on her husband.
Limmiatis is an energy company worker who said Cuomo ran his fingers on the lettering that ran across the chest of her shirt when they met in a rope line at a 2017 event. He then told her he was going to say there was a spider on her shoulder and proceeded to brush her chest with his hand.
Wang castigated what she described as Cuomo’s efforts to “gaslight and attack the brave women who came forward,” which ultimately “apparently served no purpose.”
The leader of New York’s Senate Republicans, state Sen. Rob Ortt, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation was a small step toward accountability.
Ortt said Cuomo’s “resignation is welcome, but it stops short of the justice his victims and the people of New York deserve.”
Ortt called for the FBI, state attorney general and other authorities to continue investigating “all of the possible crimes related to our state’s nursing homes crisis and the Governor’s questionable book deal.”
Ortt said that Democrats, who control both the Assembly and state Senate, failed to hold Cuomo accountable. The Assembly’s judiciary committee met Monday to discuss how to conclude their probe of Cuomo’s conduct with women, among other matters.
New York’s lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, will become the state’s first female governor in two weeks.
She’s spent years on the road as the friendly face of the administration. During two terms, she has visited each of the state’s 62 counties yearly for countless ribbon-cutting ceremonies and civic cheerleading events.
Now, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation Tuesday, her next stop is the state Capitol in Albany.
The centrist Democrat from western New York last week joined the chorus of politicians denouncing the governor over sexual harassment allegations. The 62-year-old Hochul is a veteran politician who served briefly in Congress.
In a statement, she said Cuomo’s decision to step down “is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers.”
After announcing his resignation effective in 14 days, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directly addressed his three daughters.
The Democrat said he never did or would “intentionally disrespect a woman or treat a woman differently than I would want them treated.”
He shares his adult daughters — Michaela, Mariah and Cara — with ex-wife Kerry Kennedy.
Continuing to directly address them, he told them: “Your dad made mistakes. And he apologized. And he learned form it. And that’s what life is all about.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has resigned over a barrage of sexual harassment allegations in a fall from grace a year after he was widely hailed nationally for his detailed daily briefings and leadership during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in New York. The resignation announced Tuesday will take effect in 14 days.
The third-term Democratic governor was increasingly isolated as state Assembly members moved toward impeachment and allies deserted him following last week’s report from state Attorney General Letitia James that detailed 11 women’s claims of sexual harassment.
Cuomo denied behaving inappropriately with any of the women who have accused him of harassment and had resisted calls for his resignation from top Democrats, including President Biden.