Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Cuomo Resigns

Finally, sheesh. 

And good riddance to the muthafuck.

At NYT, "Cuomo Resigns Amid Scandals, Ending Decade-Long Run in Disgrace":

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said Tuesday he would resign from office, succumbing to a ballooning sexual harassment scandal that fueled an astonishing reversal of fortune for one of the nation’s best-known leaders.

Mr. Cuomo said his resignation would take effect in 14 days. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, will be sworn in to replace him.

“Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing,” Mr. Cuomo said from his office in Manhattan. “And therefore that’s what I’ll do.”

The resignation of Mr. Cuomo, a three-term Democrat, came a week after a report from the New York State attorney general concluded that the governor sexually harassed nearly a dozen women, including current and former government workers, by engaging in unwanted touching and making inappropriate comments. The 165-page report also found that Mr. Cuomo and his aides unlawfully retaliated against at least one of the women for making her complaints public and fostered a toxic work environment.

The report put increased pressure on Mr. Cuomo to resign, leading to new calls to do so from President Biden, a longtime friend of the governor, and other Democratic leaders who had withheld judgment until the report’s findings were made public, and leaving Mr. Cuomo with few, if any, defenders.

The report’s fallout had left Mr. Cuomo increasingly isolated: His top aide, Melissa DeRosa, resigned Sunday after concluding the governor had no path to remain in office, according to a person familiar with her thinking. In the end, Mr. Cuomo followed through on the advice his top advisers and onetime allies had been offering: leave office voluntarily.

Mr. Cuomo stepped down as he faced the specter of forced removal from office through impeachment and was poised to become only the second governor to be impeached in the state’s history. Following the report’s release, the leaders of the State Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, began moving to draft articles of impeachment and appeared to have enough support to pass them.

The dramatic fall of Mr. Cuomo, 63, was shocking in its velocity and vertical drop: A year ago, the governor was being hailed as a national hero for his steady leadership amid the coronavirus pandemic. His political demise stunned Albany, where Mr. Cuomo had governed with an outsize presence for more than a decade, wielding the State Capitol’s levers of power with deft and often brutal skill.

As recently as February, it was largely assumed that Mr. Cuomo would coast to a fourth term next year — eclipsing the three terms served by his father, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, and matching the record of Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller — perhaps positioning himself for even higher office.

But that notion was shredded by a steady drumbeat of sexual harassment allegations earlier this year, coupled with troubling reports about his administration’s efforts to obscure the true extent of nursing home deaths during the pandemic, an issue that has been the subject of a federal investigation.

The allegations led to a barrage of calls for his resignation in March from top Democrats, including Senator Chuck Schumer and most of the state’s congressional delegation. Under immense pressure, and in an effort to buy himself time, Mr. Cuomo authorized Letitia James, the state attorney general, to oversee an investigation into the claims, urging voters to wait for the facts before reaching a conclusion.

The Assembly, where Mr. Cuomo had retained a small well of support among a bloc of Democrats, had also begun a wide-ranging impeachment investigation earlier this year. That inquiry was looking not only at sexual harassment allegations, but also at other accusations involving Mr. Cuomo’s misuse of power, including the possible illegal use of state resources to write a book about leadership last year for which he received $5.1 million, as well as his handling of nursing home data during the pandemic.

The inquiry was unfolding slowly, but the attorney general’s report eroded what little support Mr. Cuomo had in the Assembly and accelerated impeachment efforts. The turning point came when Carl E. Heastie, the Assembly speaker, whom Mr. Cuomo’s critics had accused of covering for the governor by stalling the impeachment inquiry, declared that Mr. Cuomo had “lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority” and “he can no longer remain in office.”

By then, Mr. Cuomo was left with two options: to step down or risk becoming the first New York governor to be impeached in more than a century, a stain on his legacy. The resignation of Mr. Cuomo, who has repeatedly denied inappropriately touching anyone, follows the resignation of the last elected New York State governor, Eliot Spitzer, who stepped down in 2008 after it emerged that he had been a client of a high-end prostitution ring.

In recent months, the governor had tried to steer attention away from the investigations and scandals that had battered his administration, seeking to counter his critics’ contention that he had lost the capacity to govern...

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