Dozens of Democratic state legislators demanded New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation on Thursday in the wake of an allegation that he groped an aide at the executive mansion last year.
The letter released by the 59 lawmakers comes as Cuomo’s grip on power in the state appears increasingly tenuous.
The top Democrat in the state Assembly, Speaker Carl Heastie, said he will meet with members today to discuss “potential paths forward” in light of mounting allegations.
The Assembly could move to impeach Cuomo, who has faced multiple allegations that he sexually harassed young women with suggestive remarks and behavior, including unwanted touching and a kiss.
The Times Union of Albany reported Wednesday that an unidentified aide had claimed Cuomo reached under her shirt and fondled her after summoning her to his official residence.
Nineteen senators and 40 Assembly members said in a letter on Thursday that it was time for Cuomo to go.
“In light of the Governor’s admission of inappropriate behavior and the findings of altered data on nursing home COVID-19 deaths he has lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature, rendering him ineffective in this time of most urgent need,” the letter said.
“It is time for Governor Cuomo to resign.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday echoed the lawmakers’ demand, telling reporters, “[Cuomo] can no longer serve as governor. It’s as simple as that.”
Cuomo has said he won’t resign and told the public to await the outcome of an investigation of his conduct by state Attorney General Letitia James. Cuomo’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
Cuomo has denied inappropriately touching anyone but has said he is sorry if he made anyone uncomfortable and didn’t intend to do so.
In the newest allegation against Cuomo, the Democratic governor allegedly summoned the aide to his Albany mansion, saying he needed help with his cellphone.
After she arrived, Cuomo closed the door, reached under her shirt and fondled her, the Times Union reported.
The newspaper’s reporting was based on an unidentified source with knowledge of the woman’s accusation, who said she first told the story to someone on Cuomo’s staff in recent days. The newspaper hadn’t spoken to the woman and didn’t identify her.
“I have never done anything like this,” Cuomo said through a spokesperson on Wednesday evening.
“The details of this report are gut-wrenching,” Cuomo said, adding that he would not speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation.
Several other women who worked for the governor and one who met him briefly at a wedding have also accused him of inappropriate conduct.
The sexual harassment scandal only adds to backlash against Cuomo over his administration’s underreporting of COVID-19 deaths in New York’s nursing homes.
The New York Assembly has 150 members. It could convene an impeachment trial against Cuomo with a simple majority vote.
Until the new allegations surfaced, most of its members appeared unwilling to try for impeachment until the attorney general’s investigation was complete.
The state Senate, which would join with members of the state’s top appeals court to hold an impeachment trial, has 63 members.
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