Detractors of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it was past time for his resignation Tuesday after the governor announced that he will be stepping down from office in two weeks – the culmination of about a year of cascading scandals, most notably allegations of pervasive sexual harassment by the governor.
Some critics also said the resignation should not be the end of accountability for Cuomo, who New York Attorney General Letitia James said broke state and federal laws with his behavior spanning years.
“Governor Cuomo’s resignation is long past overdue,” Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N. Y., said. “Now, former Governor Cuomo needs to be prosecuted and arrested for sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual grooming.”
“The corrupt reign of King Cuomo is over at last, but the fight for justice and accountability is just beginning,” Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N. Y., said in a statement shortly after his resignation. “Investigations into Cuomo’s abuse of power, corruption, and criminal misconduct must continue. Cuomo should be immediately prosecuted, not just for sexual harassment and assault, but also for his deadly nursing home policies and subsequent cover up.”
Tenney added: “Those who aided and abetted Cuomo over these many years must also answer for their crimes and corruption.”
Albany County District Attorney Spokesperson Cecilia Walsh said that the criminal probe into Cuomo remains open.
“We will not be making a comment about the resignation at this time,” she said. “Our inquiry into criminal conduct in our jurisdiction remains open and pending.”
Lindsey Boylan, one of the women who first accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, expressed appreciation for James and her investigation.
“From the beginning, I simply asked that the Governor stop his abusive behavior. It became abundantly clear he was unable to do that, instead attacking and blaming victims until the end. It is a tragedy that so many stood by and watched these abuses happen,” Boylan said.
“I am thankful for the Attorney General, the investigators and all those who have pursued the truth despite intimidation and threats of retaliation,” she added. “Most importantly, I am in awe of the strength of the other women who risked everything to come forward. My hope always has been that this will make it safer for other women to report their own harassment and abuse. I will continue the fight to make that happen.”
Others, particularly Democrats, simply said that Cuomo’s exit will be good for the state.
“There is no place for sexual harassment, and today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo to resign was the right decision for the good of the people of New York,” Sen Chuck Schumer, D-N. Y., said.
“First and foremost, I want to thank the incredibly courageous women who came forward and shared their stories. They are the true public servants here,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N. Y., said… (Read more)