Cuomo sexual harassment report: Officials call for Governor’s resignation

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(WETM) – Officials across New York are calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign after a five-month investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office found he sexually harassed multiple women during his time as Governor.

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul released a statement on Tuesday saying sexual harassment is “unacceptable in any workplace” but said because she is next in the line of succession, “it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace, and certainly not in public service. 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.

Because Lieutenant Governors stand next in the line of succession, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the process at this moment.

U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand

“As we have said before, the reported actions of the Governor were profoundly disturbing, inappropriate, and completely unacceptable. 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.

“The New York State Attorney General has conducted an independent, thorough and professional investigation that found the Governor violated state and federal law, had a pattern of sexually harassing current and former employees, retaliated against at least one of the accusers, and created a hostile work environment.

“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.”

Rep. Nydia Velazquez

“Governor Cuomo must resign. If he refuses, he must be impeached. Enough is enough.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler

New York State Senator Sean Ryan

“The report from the Attorney General’s office outlines a pattern of disturbing behavior, including serious impropriety by the Governor and attempts by his office to silence accusers. I commend the women in the report for coming forward to tell all of us about what they had to endure. The report makes clear that the Governor is not fit for the office he holds, and he should step down immediately and allow Lieutenant Governor Hochul to assume the powers of the Office of Governor. If he refuses to do so, it is incumbent upon the Assembly and Senate to remove him from office. I thank the Attorney General and the independent investigators for their deliberate work to uncover the truth.”

NYC Mayoral Candidate Curtis Sliwa

“If this isn’t a statement of why Cuomo must go, I don’t know what is.  Andrew Cuomo was so quick to accuse everyone else of sexual harassment.  There is a long litany of people he has said should have been forced to leave their positions or not be considered for electoral office.  He was so quick to be judgmental.  And now the weight of evidence is clearly against Cuomo.  He could do us all a big favor by resigning now. He should resign now and let his Lieutenant Governor take charge. Let’s get rid of Cuomo once and for all for this, and for all the deaths of all those elderly people because of his executive order on Covid-19”

U.S. Congresswoman (NY 21), House GOP Conference Chair

Lee Zeldin, Candidate for Governor

“Andrew Cuomo must resign or be impeached. Cuomo institutionalized widespread abuse within his administration and tried to silence his many victims, which enabled him to continue openly preying on those around him. Over the last few months, Cuomo has continued his attempts to undermine the investigations into his wrongdoing and those carrying them out, and I have no doubt he will continue to do so following the release of the report. It’s up to all of us to hold him accountable. Governor Cuomo must resign, and if he doesn’t resign, Democrats running the State Legislature in Albany must impeach him. If they don’t impeach him, we must hold Governor Cuomo and every single person who has enabled him accountable at the ballot box on Election Day 2022. Whether it’s the deadly nursing home order and coverup, his absurd $5.1 million self-congratulatory book deal, or rampant sexual harassment, abuse, and intimidation, New York needs new leadership to restore our state to glory, rather than govern scandal to scandal. New Yorkers need a Governor who will put their priorities first, not prioritize self-preservation in the face of endless misconduct. This is a crisis of leadership, and it’s up to every New Yorker to hold Cuomo accountable and save our state.”

Andrew Giuliani, Candidate for Governor

“First and foremost, the eleven victims of Andrew Cuomo’s criminal sexual harassment deserve our respect and admiration for bravely stepping forward to tell their stories despite threats and risk to their reputation and professional careers. Regardless of how Cuomo is trying to discredit you and justify his unacceptable behavior today, we hear you. 

New York Republicans and Democrats remain united today in the belief that Governor Cuomo is unfit for office, and that he should resign from office immediately. I echo the sentiments of countless elected officials on both sides of the aisle that New Yorkers won’t stand for Cuomo‘s misconduct.

Attorney General James conducted an independent investigation that uncovered, in the words of her report, “an environment where the Governor’s sexually harassing conduct was allowed to flourish and persist.” New York’s 19.5 million residents deserve better, as do Governor Cuomo’s courageous victims, whose lives and careers were damaged by his actions.”

Knowing that Andrew Cuomo will not give up his access to power and resign, I am calling on the assembly and legislature to reconvene to begin impeachment proceedings against him. It is time to protect the statehouse and all New Yorkers from Cuomo’s ongoing misconduct.”

Rob Ortt, NY Senate Republican Leader

“Today is 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. 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.

“New Yorkers have already been subjected to far too many lies, scandals and misdeeds perpetrated by this Governor and his associates. It is time to bring this sad, tawdry and corrupt chapter in New York’s history to a close, and to restore decency, honesty, and accountability to our state’s highest office. New York is facing profound challenges, ranging from a wave of violence in our streets, to a badly battered economy.  To effectively address these challenges, we need a change in leadership as quickly as possible. 

“I must also commend the Attorney General and her team for refusing to be intimidated by this Governor. From the very beginning, Andrew Cuomo and his associates attempted to bully, undercut, and undermine the Attorney General — all as part of an effort to prevent her from doing her job.  From attempting to block the initial referral to the Attorney General’s office, to the intimidation of potential witnesses, to the blatant attempts to smear her integrity and motivations, this Governor left no stone unturned in his efforts to prevent the truth from being discovered.  

“While this will undoubtedly go down as a dark day in New York’s history, we must now take steps to ensure that it will also be remembered as an important turning point that restores accountability and trustworthiness to state government.”

Rob Ortt, NY Senate Republican Leader

Steuben County Republican Party Chairman and Congressional Candidate Joe Sempolinski

“Andrew Cuomo must resign, now” Sempolinski said. “He needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for workplace harassment and retaliation. He is a disgrace to New York State and to the office of the Governor. If he does not resign, the State Assembly must begin impeachment proceedings immediately.”

132nd District Assemblyman Phil Palmesano

“The attorney general made it clear that Gov. Cuomo’s behavior fostered a toxic work environment that violated multiple state and federal laws in his repeated sexual harassment of women. These brave women should be commended for their courage in coming forward to share their experiences in the face of intimidation and retaliation from the governor and his staff.

“The governor’s behavior is offensive and unacceptable and he needs to resign immediately. If he does not do so, then it is imperative that the Legislature act now to impeach him and remove him from office.”

New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta

“The attorney general has detailed conduct that is repugnant and indefensible in any workplace and especially in the state’s highest elected office. Equally troubling was the governor’s response to the report. Sadly, both show he is unfit to serve in office.”

Chemung County Executive Chris Moss

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