New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is demanding that Gov. Andrew Cuomo resign. The call for Cuomo’s resignation by the top Democrat in the New York state Senate arrives a day after two more women came forward with new accusations of sexual harassment against the New York governor.
Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) issued a statement on Sunday afternoon, where she said Cuomo “must resign.”
“Every day there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government,” Stewart-Cousins said. “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,” she added. “We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.”
Last week, Stewart-Cousins received criticism for saying that she wouldn’t call for Cuomo’s resignation despite there being three credible accusers, but would ask him to resign if there were more than three accusers.
“Any further people coming forward, I think it would be time to resign,” she said last week. “I am at a place, and we are all at this place, where it’s always hard when you think something is resolved, and find that there is still so much work to do. I applaud women who have been through this for coming forward.”
Stewart-Cousins has a history of denouncing sexual harassment in the workplace, which caused many to question why she wasn’t demanding Cuomo resign earlier.
Another top New York Democrat also hinted that Cuomo should step down following the allegations. New York Assembly Majority Leader Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) issued a statement following Stewart-Cousins’ announcement.
“The allegations pertaining to the Governor that have been reported in recent weeks have been deeply disturbing, and have no place whatsoever in government, the workplace or anywhere else,” Heastie said. “I too share the sentiment of Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins regarding the Governor’s ability to continue to lead this state.”
“We have many challenges to address, and I think it is time for the Governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York,” he stated.
Cuomo has denied the accusations, saying he “never inappropriately touched anybody” and “never propositioned anybody.”
“I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation,” the governor said. “To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.”
On Sunday during a press conference, Cuomo proclaimed, “There is no way I resign.”
“I was elected by the people of the state. I wasn’t elected by politicians,” Cuomo said during a news conference call with reporters. “I’m not gonna resign because of allegations.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) has launched an investigation into the accusations of sexual harassment against Cuomo.
Anna Ruch, Lindsey Boylan, and Charlotte Bennett came forward last week with accusations of Cuomo sexually harassing them with unwanted physical touching and uncomfortable or inappropriate discussions. Former aides Ana Liss and Karen Hinton came forward with allegations against Cuomo on Saturday night.