sexual harassment
Gov. Andrew Cuomo makes a statement in this screen grab taken from a pre-recorded video released by Office of the NY Governor, in New York, U.S., August 3, 2021. Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/Handout via REUTERS

Elected officials on Long Island are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign after a bombshell report from Attorney General Letitia James’ office found that he sexually harassed 11 young women, most of whom worked for the state.

The five-month investigation included testimony from 179 people and detailed incidents of unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging by Cuomo, as well as inappropriate comments and a “toxic” workplace that enabled “harassment to occur.” County Executive Laura Curran was one of the first local politicians to call for the governor’s resignation.

“The attorney general’s findings are clear,” Curran wrote. “The governor must resign immediately.”

Legislators in Nassau County’s legislative majority also released a statement calling for the governor’s resignation.

“The report released today by New York State Attorney General Letitia James detailing the harassment of multiple women, breaking state and federal law, is deeply disturbing and unacceptable,” the legislators wrote. “The majority demands that the governor step down immediately.”

Shortly after James held a news briefing on the findings of the investigation, Cuomo released a prerecorded video that made no mention of resigning. He denied some of the allegations and explained his interpretation of and apologized for others.

“The facts are much different than what has been portrayed,” Cuomo said.

If the governor does not resign, the State Assembly could begin impeachment proceedings. Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) said that he and his colleagues are analyzing and reviewing the report with their independent counsel.

“The findings are extraordinarily disturbing. The details provided by the victims are repugnant,” he wrote in a statement. “This is a difficult day for the people of the State of New York.”

Democratic Reps. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn), and Gregory Meeks (D-Queens) issued a joint statement calling upon the governor to resign.

“The investigation has found that the governor engaged in abusive behavior toward women, including subordinates, created a hostile work environment and violated state and federal law,” the statement said. “We commend the brave women who came forward and spoke truth to power. The time has come for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to do the right thing for the people of New York State and resign.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, both New York Democrats, have also called on Cuomo to resign.

“Today’s report from the New York State Attorney General substantiated and corroborated the allegations of the brave women who came forward to share their stories — and we commend the women for doing so,” they said in a statement. “We continue to believe that the governor should resign.”

-With Reuters

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.

[wpdevart_facebook_comment title_text="Comments" title_text_color="#000000" title_text_font_size="22" title_text_font_family="monospace" title_text_position="left" width="100%" bg_color="#CCCCCC" animation_effect="random" count_of_comments="5" ]