ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the governor should consider voluntarily stepping down, after new allegations of inappropriate behavior from two more women over the weekend.
“Everyday 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,” said Stewart-Cousins, D-Westchester.
“For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign,” she said.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, in a statement, said it’s time “for the Governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York.”
A defiant Cuomo said he’s not leaving, and that his job overseeing the state budget and the COVID-19 pandemic is too important for him to be “distracted” by the charges.
Cuomo, no longer contrite about accusations from several women that he sexually harassed or inappropriately touched them, called the charges of inappropriate behavior “irrelevant” until New York Attorney General Letitia James completes an investigation.
“No, there is no way I resign,” said Cuomo, who added that he deserves “due process” while the AG’s probe continues.
“I’m not going to be distracted by this, either. We have to get a budget done in three weeks. We have a lot of work to do.”
Cuomo attacked as a liar one of the women, former aide Karen Hinton, who told the Washington Post Cuomo inappropriately hugged her after calling her to private meeting in his hotel room.
Former aide Ana Liss told the Wall Street Journal that Cuomo inappropriately touched her at a reception and kissed her hand while at the office. The governor said that behavior is customary for him at public events. Liss now works as an economic development official with Monroe County.
And he said other female politicians, including State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and Rep. Kathleen Rice, who have called on him to resign, are just playing politics.