New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is now being told by top Democrats in the New York legislature to resign. The demands come following two more sexual harassment allegations by former aides, who accuse him of promoting a toxic workplace culture for decades.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) issued statements on Sunday telling the NY governor to step down.
“Every day there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government. We have allegations about sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the Covid-19 nursing home data and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project,” Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins said. “New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it. We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Gov. Cuomo must resign.”
“We have many challenges to address, and I think it is time for the Governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York,” Assembly Speaker Heastie said in a separate statement.
Another Democratic state senator, Mike Gianaris, joined them in “calling for Governor Cuomo to resign so we can move our state forward.”
On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo held a press conference and declared he “will not resign.” This was one day before a Thursday report confirmed for the first time that Cuomo had ordered aides to scrub data that would reveal the extent of his deadly March nursing home order.
On Saturday, two more aides came forward to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment, bringing the total of recent accusers to five. Former press aide Karen Hinton claims Cuomo asked her to come to his “dimly lit” hotel room and attempted to pull her back towards him when she refused. The incident allegedly occurred in 2000, when Cuomo was working in the Clinton cabinet.
Another former aide, Ana Liss, now alleges that Cuomo kissed her hand and cheeks, called her “sweetheart,” and even touched her lower back on sundry occasions. The two new accusers say that Cuomo created a “hostile, toxic” workplace culture for decades. Two other former Cuomo aides, Lindsey Boylan, Charlotte Bennett, further corroborate Cuomo’s alleged pattern of behavior. Yet another accuser, Anna Ruch, was photographed in a public setting with the governor caressing her face and making advances towards her.
It is reassuring that NY Senate Majority Leader Steward-Cousins cited the nursing home scandal in her statement calling for Cuomo to resign. It is a sign that the state legislators are starting to take the scandal and ensuing cover-up seriously. The next step should be to impeach the governor.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.