NEW YORK (Reuters) – The two top Democrats in New York’s state legislature said on Sunday that sexual harassment allegations leveled against Governor Andrew Cuomo by five women, most of them former aides, have undermined his ability to lead and he should resign.
In calling for the governor to step down, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also cited charges that Cuomo’s governing style created a “toxic work environment” and that his office under-reported the coronavirus death toll among nursing home residents.
“Everyday there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement. “We need to govern without daily distractions. For the good of the state, Governor Cuomo must resign.”
House Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie followed with a statement in which he said he shares Stewart-Cousins’ sentiment “regarding the governor’s ability to continue to lead this state.”
“We have many challenges to address, and I think it is time for the governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York,” Heastie said.
Earlier in the day, the most powerful New Yorker in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, called the allegations of unwanted advances and inappropriate remarks against his fellow Democrat “deeply troubling” and said he backed the investigation launched by state Attorney General Letitia James.