Pandemic ‘Hero’ Andrew Cuomo Finally Resigns in Disgrace

In one of the crucial dramatic political downfalls in latest reminiscence, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced Tuesday that he’s resigning his workplace amid a welter of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.

The choice got here somewhat greater than a yr after Cuomo emerged because the face of supposedly rational Democratic decision-making amid ex-President Donald Trump’s bungling response to the COVID-19 pandemic—and only one week after State Lawyer Normal Letitia James launched a devastating report that discovered the governor had subjected 11 girls to undesirable feedback and touching.

“I feel that, given the circumstances, one of the best ways I will help now could be if I step apart and let authorities get again to governing, and due to this fact, that’s what I’ll do,” Cuomo mentioned Tuesday, including that his resignation will likely be efficient in 14 days.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, whom Cuomo described as “good and competent,” will take over his place, changing into the primary feminine governor in New York state historical past.

“New York powerful means New York loving. And I like New York. And I like you. And all the pieces I’ve ever completed has been motivated by that love,” Cuomo mentioned.

In defending himself on Tuesday, Cuomo insisted he by no means thought he’d “crossed the road with anybody”—and didn’t “notice the extent to which the road has been redrawn,” regardless of many of the allegations going down within the wake of the #MeToo motion. The governor additionally blamed his woes on Twitter, lamenting that it’s “change into the general public sq. for coverage debate.”

The AG report got here months after an initial cascade of allegations and pictures from girls in regards to the highly effective three-term Democrat’s abusive, demeaning, and sexist habits, together with—most critically—a then-anonymous accusation that he groped an executive assistant within the governor’s mansion in Albany. Lots of the state’s strongest elected officers urged him to resign, together with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

But Cuomo stunned many nationwide observers, although few in New York, by attempting to ride out the disaster, claiming to be a sufferer of “cancel tradition” and urging lawmakers to await the result of the legal professional normal’s investigation.

For a short while, the scandal receded. However then James’ report dropped. It not solely substantiated the ladies’s accounts, however revealed recent data, together with that the governor had suggestively touched and taunted a state trooper he had moved to his private safety element. The legal professional normal concluded that the governor had harassed a complete of 11 girls and had violated office conduct statutes he had personally signed into legislation. State legislators scrambled into impeachment proceedings, at the same time as Cuomo concurrently denied and defended his habits.

However the governor’s defenses confirmed plain indicators of collapsing. President Joe Biden and Home Majority Chief Nancy Pelosi known as on him to resign, whereas his attorneys offered flailing claims his due-process rights have been being violated. Multiple district attorneys, together with the Albany sheriff’s workplace, started prying into the legal professional normal’s report for proof of prison exercise by the state’s highest government. His prime aide and confidante Melissa DeRosa resigned. And Brittany Commisso, the assistant who had asserted the governor molested her in his mansion, dropped her anonymity and got here ahead with additional allegations and a requirement Cuomo be held accountable.

Lastly, the strain overwhelmed even the entrenched Cuomo.

The unceremonious exit marked an unbelievable reversal of status and fortune for the governor, as soon as considered as a possible presidential contender and candidate for the Biden Cupboard.

In the course of the worst of the worldwide well being disaster, Cuomo took his longtime posture as a tricky, take-charge chief to a nationwide viewers with each day shows on the novel coronavirus’ progress within the worst-hit state within the worst-hit nation. Hundreds of frightened People from far-flung states tuned in to the broadcasts, and viewers and pundits alike declared themselves “Cuomosexuals.”

However the fawning affection the third-term Democrat acquired glossed over his earlier downplaying of the pandemic’s severity, his intervention to forestall an early lockdown in disease-wracked New York Metropolis, and his March 2020 order that nursing houses settle for COVID-19 sufferers from hospitals. Consultants agree these actions most likely price lives.

It additionally ignored how Cuomo had spent years constructing his status and energy by terrorizing employees, reporters, and different politicians. Cuomo’s habits haunted him when reviews surfaced that his administration had undercounted COVID-19 deaths in senior residences after issuing his order final yr. Within the face of federal probes and persevering with leaks about his team’s efforts to conceal the extent of devastation in nursing houses, a state lawmaker claimed the governor had called and threatened to “destroy” him.

The declare by Queens Democrat Ron Kim uncorked a torrent of adverse nationwide publicity for the governor, as report after report surfaced about his bullying habits and poisonous work tradition.

However arguably what felled the highly effective governor was a collection of sexual harassment allegations from former feminine aides. On Feb. 24, Lindsey Boylan, who had referred extra vaguely to impropriety from Cuomo previously, asserted that the governor had made quite a few inappropriate feedback to and about her and had kissed her on the lips whereas she served as an assistant on financial growth issues.

Cuomo denied the accusations, however extra quickly adopted. Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old staffer for pandemic points, came forward alleging the governor had propositioned her for intercourse and made feedback and inquiries about her sexual historical past.

On March 1, a photo surfaced of Cuomo greedy a younger girl’s face at a marriage. The sufferer claimed it was certainly one of a number of situations of undesirable contact from the governor on the occasion. Cuomo attempted to play off his habits as an indication of his old style glad-handing model. However even more women—together with Commisso—went to the press or to human assets with tales of the governor’s creepy feedback and touches.

The scandal proved how few pals Cuomo had within the New York State capital, the product of a brutal political model he had honed in New York for many years.

Cuomo entered politics at a younger age, engaged on his father Mario’s campaigns for New York mayor and governor within the late Seventies and early Nineteen Eighties. He earned an early status for ruthlessness: Ed Koch, who defeated his dad for the previous workplace in 1977, accused his opponent’s son of disseminating posters studying “Vote Cuomo Not the Homo”—a reference to rumors about Koch’s sexuality. These claims would hang-out Andrew in later years, as he styled himself as a champion for LGBTQ rights.

Mario Cuomo triumphed in his run for governor in 1982, a marketing campaign the 24-year-old Andrew managed. His father’s success catapulted Andrew into jobs at a prestigious legislation agency, at an anti-homelessness nonprofit, and eventually into President Invoice Clinton’s Division of Housing and City Growth, the place he ultimately turned secretary.

In 2002, Cuomo sought to problem New York Gov. George Pataki, the Republican who had dislodged his father from the governor’s mansion eight years prior. However Cuomo dropped out of the race after a disastrous gaffe during which he appeared to politicize the then-fresh 9/11 assaults.

4 years later, he defeated future Fox Information host Choose Jeanine Pirro to change into New York legal professional normal. He used the place to undermine first Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned amid a prostitution scandal, after which Gov. David Paterson. Having successfully pushed Paterson apart with the assistance of then-President Barack Obama, Cuomo gained his first of three landslide victories for the governor’s workplace in 2010.

Cuomo proved to be an ideological shapeshifter, styling himself first as a tax-slashing fiscal conservative, then as a pro-labor populist, then as a reasoned champion of excellent authorities and good sense within the face of Trumpian mismanagement. What didn’t change was Cuomo’s strategy to politics: aggressive and illiberal of dissent, and prone to rewarding political allies.

He got here underneath federal scrutiny repeatedly between 2014 and 2016, first over his disbanding of a corruption fee he himself had established (when it start to look into his personal workplace) after which for his financial growth packages, culminating in a number of of his prime donors and aides—together with his finest buddy and former marketing campaign supervisor—being sentenced to jail.

However Cuomo managed not solely to outlive however thrive. He gained a 3rd time period in 2018, noticed his powers and profile develop amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and was even rumored as a possible substitute for President Joe Biden atop the Democratic ticket final yr.

Now in shame, he awaits the results of prison probes into his conduct. | Pandemic ‘Hero’ Andrew Cuomo Lastly Resigns in Shame


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