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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigns over sexual harassment

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NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned over a barrage of sexual harassment allegations Tuesday in a fall from grace a 12 months after he was broadly hailed nationally for his detailed each day briefings and management throughout the darkest days of COVID-19.

The three-term governor’s choice, which can take impact in two weeks, was introduced as momentum constructed within the Legislature to take away him by impeachment. It got here after New York’s lawyer normal launched the outcomes of an investigation that discovered Cuomo sexually harassed not less than 11 ladies.

Investigators stated he subjected ladies to undesirable kisses; groped their breasts or buttocks or in any other case touched them inappropriately; made insinuating remarks about their seems and their intercourse lives; and created a piece setting “rife with worry and intimidation.”

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a 62-year-old Democrat and former member of Congress from the Buffalo space, will grow to be the state’s 57th governor and the primary lady to carry the put up.

The #MeToo-era scandal reduce quick not only a profession however a dynasty: Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo, was governor within the Nineteen Eighties and ’90s, and the youthful Cuomo was usually talked about as a possible candidate for president, an workplace his father famously contemplated in search of. Even because the scandal mushroomed, Cuomo was planning to run for reelection in 2022.

Cuomo nonetheless faces the opportunity of legal prices, with various prosecutors across the state shifting to analyze him.

The string of accusations that spelled the governor’s downfall started to unfold in news experiences final December and went on for months.

Cuomo referred to as a number of the allegations fabricated, forcefully denying he touched anybody inappropriately. However he acknowledged making some aides uncomfortable with feedback he stated he meant as playful, and he apologized for a few of his habits.

He portrayed a number of the encounters as misunderstandings attributable to “generational or cultural” variations, a reference partially to his upbringing in an affectionate Italian American household.

As a defiant Cuomo clung to workplace, state lawmakers launched an impeachment investigation, and almost your entire Democratic institution in New York abandoned him — not solely over the accusations, but in addition due to the invention that his administration had hid 1000’s of COVID-19 deaths amongst nursing house sufferers.

The harassment investigation ordered up by the lawyer normal and performed by two outdoors legal professionals corroborated the ladies’s accounts and added lurid new ones. The discharge of the report left the governor extra remoted than ever, with a few of his most loyal supporters abandoning him and President Joe Biden becoming a member of these calling on him to resign.

His accusers included an aide who stated Cuomo groped her breast on the governor’s mansion. Investigators additionally the governor’s workers retaliated in opposition to certainly one of his accusers by leaking confidential personnel information about her.

As governor, Cuomo touted himself for example of a “progressive Democrat” who will get issues executed: Since taking workplace in 2011, he helped push by means of laws that legalized homosexual marriage, started lifting the minimal wage to $15 and expanded paid household depart advantages. He additionally backed large infrastructure initiatives, together with airport overhauls and building of a brand new bridge over the Hudson River that he named after his father.

On the similar time the habits that acquired him into bother was occurring, he was publicly championing the #MeToo motion and surrounding himself with ladies’s rights activists, signing into legislation sweeping new protections in opposition to sexual harassment and lengthening the statute of limitations in rape circumstances.

His nationwide recognition soared throughout the harrowing spring of 2020, when New York turned the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak.

His tough-minded however empathetic response made for riveting tv effectively past New York, and his stern warnings to individuals to remain house and put on masks stood in sharp distinction to President Donald Trump’s brush-off of the virus. His briefings received a world Emmy Award, and he went on to put in writing a e-book on management in a disaster.

However even these accomplishments had been quickly tainted when it was realized that the state’s official rely of nursing house deaths had excluded many sufferers who had been transferred to hospitals earlier than they succumbed. A Cuomo aide acknowledged the administration feared the true numbers could be “used in opposition to us” by the Trump White Home.

Additionally, Cuomo’s administration was fiercely criticized for forcing nursing properties to simply accept sufferers recovering from the virus.

The U.S. Justice Division is investigating the state’s dealing with of knowledge on nursing house deaths. As well as, the state lawyer normal is trying into whether or not Cuomo broke the legislation in utilizing members of his workers to assist write and promote his e-book, from which he stood to make greater than $5 million.

The governor had additionally more and more come below hearth over his tough and generally vindictive remedy of fellow politicians and his personal workers, with former aides telling tales of a brutal work setting.

Cuomo has been divorced since 2005 from the writer and activist Kerry Kennedy, a member of the Kennedy household, and was romantically concerned up till 2019 with TV life-style persona Sandra Lee. He has three grownup daughters.

He gained political expertise early on as his father’s hard-nosed and infrequently ruthless marketing campaign supervisor, and went on to grow to be New York lawyer normal and U.S. housing secretary below President Invoice Clinton earlier than getting elected governor in 2010.

New York has seen a string of high-level political figures introduced down in shame lately.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in 2008 in a call-girl scandal. Rep. Anthony Weiner went to jail for sexting with a 15-year-old lady. Legal professional Common Eric Schneiderman stepped down in 2018 after 4 ladies accused him of abuse. And the highest two leaders within the Legislature had been convicted of corruption.

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