During a press conference Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will resign in two weeks in wake of his sexual harassment scandal.
“The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing, and therefore, that’s what I’ll do,” Gov. Cuomo said.
A report released last week by State Attorney General Letitia James found that Governor Cuomo allegedly harassed multiple former and current state government employees, and that his administration, according to the investigation, “fostered a toxic workplace that enabled harassment and created a hostile work environment where staffers did not feel comfortable for coming forward with complaints.” Cuomo denied the report’s findings in a video statement last Tuesday.
The five-month investigation conducted by two outside attorneys included interviews with 179 people. The state attorney general later added that the report “does not have any criminal consequences.” Cuomo said last week that he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.” President Joe Biden called on Cuomo to resign and Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa resigned from her role as secretary to the governor.
Cuomo will be replaced by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who will become the state’s first woman governor.
During her time in office, Hochul also worked to help displaced women. In 2006, she, her mother and her aunt established the Kathleen Mary House, a transitional home for victims of domestic violence.
In 2011, Hochul was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election for New York’s 26th district. Chris Collins would defeat her in the 2012 election. During her tenure, she sat on the Armed Services and Homeland Security committees.
Cuomo nominated Hochul to be his lieutenant governor when he successfully ran for his second term in 2014. Cuomo and Hochul won re-election in 2018.
Under the Cuomo administration, Hochul has overseen several state projects and governing groups. She chairs 10 regional economic development councils, which help decide investments for projects in New York and the State Workforce Investment Board. Cuomo appointed her as co-chair of the Heroin and Opioid Abuse Task Force.