With the walls closing in on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, his recent resignation comes as no surprise. Cuomo has been under investigation for multiple sexual harassment claims (many of which come from his own staff) and his handling of the COVID-19 nursing home death tolls in his state.
As Cuomo resigned within a week of the published conclusions from the investigations, his what-would-have-been graceful bow of a resignation speech now has defeat and retreat written all over it. Gov. Cuomo delivered his speech in a heartfelt and sorrowful manner via livestream on CNN. In essence, he blamed the government for misdirecting energy into his investigations while they should be tending to other matters for his decision to step down. Ultimately, he conveys the message of a martyr; removing himself as a distraction for the sake of the people.
“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.”
Although he still denies any criminal or intentional wrongdoings, his resignation only red-flagged where the proceeding across all three legislations was heading. Cuomo had been called out by nearly every major Democrat across the country, more than two-thirds of congressional Democrats from New York, and a majority of the New York State Assembly to step down and steadfastly refused… until the investigation’s findings were published. From December, when the initial 11 women came forward, he has since strictly denied and made apologies for having possibly made any women uncomfortable.
The conclusions of the investigations, headed by Attorney General Letitia James, found that Cuomo was in violation of both state and federal laws on sexual harassment. Further, James stated, “Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former 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.”
As if his motives behind a hasty resignation weren’t transparent enough, Cuomo is also outrunning an investigation surrounding grossly undercounted coronavirus deaths in nursing homes. Also releasing the report on this investigation, James alleged that the death toll is off by a staggering ~50%.
From here, Cuomo faces possible impeachment charges and is working with Lawyer Rita Glavin for a defense strategy. New York will look forward to swearing in their first female governor Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul to serve the remainder of Cuomo’s third term until the 2022 midterms.