Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Resigns Following Attorney General’s Report

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Courtesy of the New York Times

By Eunho Jung, Senior Editor

In March of 2021, the Patriot Press published a detailed article regarding the sexual misconduct allegations against New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. 

On August 3, 2021, the New York Attorney General’s Office released a 168-page report of the investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment by Governor M. Cuomo. 

In short, the Attorney General’s Office verified the claims of the multiple women who came forward against the governor. The report had the testimonies of eleven women that were sexually harassed by Governor Cuomo. “We conclude that the Governor, on multiple occasions, engaged in conduct and conversations that were offensive and sexual in nature that constituted sex-based harassment,” read the conclusion of the report. 

Aside from the sexual misconduct findings, the Attorney General’s Office also concluded that the work environment under Governor Cuomo was toxic in its nature. On page 164, the report read “many witnesses interviewed during our investigation—and certainly the complainants who worked in the Executive Chamber—raised the challenging and difficult culture and environment in the Executive Chamber as a factor that heavily impacted their interactions with the Governor and his senior staff.” The report went on to further explain that there was a culture of intimidation, bullying, and retaliation that was condoned and even encouraged by the governor. Any attempts to criticize the Governor or his senior staff were met with attacks of a professional and personal nature. In the report, the AG also shared that the witnesses who were called on during this investigation were afraid that providing any negative information would negatively impact their jobs.

It was this toxic workplace culture present under Governor Cuomo that allowed for the inappropriate comments, suggestive flirting, and sexual harassment by the Governor to grow and even thrive.

Immediately following the release of the Attorney General’s report, Cuomo continued to deny these allegations. “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo claimed. He believed that the investigation was tainted with bias. He also denied the findings of a toxic environment. “We work really, really hard. My office is no typical nine to five government office, and I don’t want it to be – the stakes we deal with are very high. Sometimes even life and death. We have to get the job done. I promised you that I would, and I will,” he explained. 

However, Cuomo no longer had the support of his own party to back him. The tide clearly turned when President Joe Biden called for his resignation. At a press conference on August 3rd, 2021 at the White House, he told reporters “[Cuomo] should resign.” 

 Ten days after the Attorney General’s report was released, Governor Cuomo formally announced his resignation. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was to take his place. Governor Hochul is now the first female governor of New York. 

Two weeks following Cuomo’s resignation, Governor Hochul was formally sworn in as the Governor of New York.

Sophia Kim, a staff writer for the Patriot Press, shared in March of 2021, “Hopefully, investigations will be completed to uncover the truth.” After learning of the truth, she now believes that “It is definitely disappointing to hear that once again, our leaders are harassing innocent women. I feel like these issues are happening so often that it’s almost becoming a norm, which is what I’m afraid of. People should speak up against these kinds of issues whenever possible to prevent them from becoming something so normalized that you can no longer resist it.”

Similarly, in March, Eden Rivera, a senior at Wayne Hills, originally believed that “[Governor] Cuomo [was] a respectable and very responsible person in every aspect of his life.” Now after the recent revelation, she has changed her mind. “I believe it’s a horrible thing that he has sexually harassed those women. It’s a horrible inexcusable act but he’s doing more than most men by at least owning up to his mistakes. It’s disgusting and disappointing but let’s hope he can change and make up for his actions somehow.”

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