Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that he will step down as New York’s chief executive amid the ongoing sexual harassment scandal against him.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will succeed Cuomo as the Empire State’s 57th governor — and the first woman ever to hold the office. Cuomo said she will take office in 14 days, on Aug. 24, following a transition.
The three-term governor denied criminal wrongdoing a week after Attorney General Letitia James issued a report of an independent investigation into allegations made by 11 women that the governor sexually harassed them. He had been facing possible impeachment in the Assembly based on the charges in the report, as well as other unrelated accusations of wrongdoing.
Even so, Cuomo said he did not want the scandal to distract from the important work that lies ahead for New York.
His decision came a day after Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie stated that Cuomo had lost the confidence of the majority of the house’s members.
Cuomo’s remarks came on the heels of another presentation by his attorney, Rita Glavin, who sought to dispel a number of the allegations made in the independent report — blaming the investigators for not hearing the governor’s side, and accusing the media of convicting Cuomo in the court of public opinion.
In a statement, incoming Governor-designate Hochul said Cuomo made the right decision for the state, and that she will be ready to take office in two weeks.
“I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down. It is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers,” Hochul said. “As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor.”