New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation today, stating he would officially step down in 14 days. His announcement comes a week after state investigators published a report finding that he sexually harassed 11 women. Several New York officials had called for him to resign after state Attorney General Leticia James– who called for the investigation– released the report.
In the announcement, the governor started by saying the headline that he sexually harassed 11 women was “false.” Before touting the number of women in his administration, Cuomo said he meant for his behavior to be “endearing,” and that he never crossed the line with anyone into any inappropriate behavior, though he didn’t “realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.”
Cuomo also called the investigation a “politically motivated” attack, the AP reports. Last week, Cuomo said the “the facts are much different than what has been portrayed.” He had refused to resign in the months since reports of his behavior first made waves last December, when a former aide alleged that the Democratic governor sexually harassed her for years.
After the Attorney General’s office released the report, Cuomo’s former executive assistant (who has not been named) filed a criminal complaint against him. It’s possible Cuomo would have faced more criminal complaints for his behavior with other women, MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos stated.
In addition to the findings that he sexually harassed 11 former state employees, all of whom are women, the AG report found that the harassment led to a culture in the governor’s office “filled with fear and intimidation, while at the same time normalizing the Governor’s frequent flirtations and gender-based comments—contributed to the conditions that allowed the sexual harassment to occur and persist. That culture also influenced the improper and inadequate ways in which the [governor’s] Executive Chamber has responded to allegations of harassment.”