by Oleg Burunov
On Sunday, Andrew Cuomo reiterated that he had no plans to resign despite two more women accusing him of sexual harassment, thereby bringing the total number of accusers to five.
Nearly 50 New York lawmakers have reportedly urged Andrew Cuomo to step down or be impeached as sexual harassment accusations against the New York governor show no signs of ceasing.
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, for her part, said on Sunday that Cuomo “must resign for the good of the state”, adding, “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. […] 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”, Stewart-Cousins added.
In January, Сuomo was accused of covering up nursing home COVID-19 deaths in New York as a report by the state attorney general put the tally at 13,500 versus the official figure of 8,500. That same month, Cuomo announced a $306 billion infrastructure upgrade programme that he called the largest project ever undertaken by any state in the US.
According to Fox News, a total of 37 legislators, including Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, reportedly called for Cuomo’s resignation, while another 10 lawmakers demanded his impeachment, a process that would require a majority vote in the 150-seat assembly.
The developments followed the New York governor on Sunday underscoring that “there is no way” he is resigning amid the sexual harassment accusations against him.
“We have to get a budget done in three weeks. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of work to do for this state. This is not about me and accusations about me. The attorney general can handle that. This is about doing the people’s business and this next six months I believe will determine the future trajectory for New York state”, Cuomo told reporters.
The comments came after two more former employees, Ana Liss and Karen Hinton, accused the New York governor of impermissible physical contact and other misconduct, contributing to previous complaints from ex-aides Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett, as well as Anna Ruch, who was a guest at a wedding Cuomo attended.
Last Wednesday, the embattled governor addressed the allegations, apologising for actions that he admitted could be perceived in an offensive manner while also stating that he has never touched anyone in an inappropriate way in his life.
Cuomo added that he now understands that he “acted in such a way that people felt uncomfortable”, but urged the state’s residents to wait for the results of the attorney general’s report and trust in facts before forming their opinion on the situation.