New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo
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The top Democrat in the New York Senate on Sunday called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign, saying the scandals afflicting Cuomo’s administration are hampering the functioning of the government.
The call from Andrea Stewart-Cousins, New York Senate majority leader, came hours after the Democratic governor swore again not to resign.
“Every day there is a different report that stands out from the government business,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement.
“We have allegations of sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility related to the Covid-19 nursing home data and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project,” said Stewart-Cousins.
“New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and still facing the social, health and economic repercussions. We need to rule without daily distraction.”
“For the good of the state, Governor Cuomo must resign,” said Stewart-Cousins.
Cuomo is under fire amid a growing number of allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate workplace behavior, as well as an ongoing scandal surrounding his government’s handling of care home deaths in Covid.
In a conference call with reporters the previous Sunday, Cuomo said there was “no way” to step down or be distracted by the crises that have engulfed his office.
NYS Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins speaks at the rally. City Hall, New York, New York, United States – 10/17/2016
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“I was elected by the people of this state, I was not elected by politicians. I will not resign on charges,” said Cuomo, arguing that this would be “anti-democratic”.
Cuomo urged people to let New York Attorney General Letitia James conduct her independent investigation into harassment claims before drawing any conclusions. He had previously apologized for “the pain I caused” and said, “I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable.”
However, with two more women standing up just a day earlier to accuse the governor of inappropriate behavior, the pressure within Cuomo’s own party shows no sign of easing.
Carl Heastie, the Democratic spokesman for the New York State Assembly, said in a statement on Sunday that he agreed with Stewart’s cousins ”on the governor’s ability to continue running this state.”
“The allegations made about the governor over the past few weeks have been deeply troubling and have no place in government, at work or anywhere else.”
“We have many challenges to face and I think it is time for the governor to give serious thought to whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York.”
Heastie’s statement did not specifically prompt Cuomo to resign.