By John Ikani
New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo has said he will be “stepping aside” from his office in a fortnight, after a state investigation released last week accused him of having “sexually harassed multiple women and violated state law.”
In a televised 20-minute address, Cuomo, 63, said his resignation would take effect in 14 days, derailing a long political career that once appeared headed for a possible U.S. presidential campaign.
“Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now, is if I step aside and let government get back to government, and therefore, that’s what I’ll do, because I work for you, and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you,” Governor Cuomo said.
Cuomo again denied any wrongdoing, though he said he accepted “full responsibility” for what he characterized as ill-conceived attempts to be affectionate or humorous.
The surprise announcement comes one week after New York Attorney General, Letitia James released the findings of a five-month probe.
Investigators said he subjected women to unwanted kisses; groped their breasts or buttocks or otherwise touched them inappropriately; made insinuating remarks about their looks and their sex lives; and created a work environment “rife with fear and intimidation”.
Cuomo’s resignation marks the second time in 13 years that a New York governor has stepped down in scandal, after Eliot Spitzer quit in 2008 over his patronage of prostitutes.
He also became the latest powerful man taken down in recent years following the rise of the #MeToo social movement against sexual abuse and harassment that has shaken politics, Hollywood, the business world and the workplace.