New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned Tuesday amid accusations of sexual harassment—although he continued to deny most of the claims against him.
In a televised address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he takes “full responsibility” for his actions, but he could not remember ever inappropriately touching anyone. The Democratic governor previously rejected calls to resign following a New York attorney general’s report alleging he sexually harassed 11 women, violating state and federal laws.
He said on Tuesday he was stepping down because he does not want a legal battle to distract from governance.
In a news conference just before the announcement, Cuomo’s attorney, Rita Glavin, rejected most of the report’s allegations and criticized investigators for missing key facts and witnesses. The report cited interviews with 179 witnesses and reviews of more than 74,000 documents.
What happens next? Cuomo’s resignation paves the way for New York’s first female governor. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, will take over in two weeks.
The State Assembly is still in the middle of investigating a series of scandals involving Cuomo, including accusations he covered up COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.
Cuomo’s resignation marks a stunning fall for the governor, who had a 71 percent approval rating just last year.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.