Politics

Top Democrat in New York state Senate calls on Gov. Cuomo to resign

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Key Points
  • New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign.
  • Cuomo said there's "no way" he would resign over the allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate workplace conduct.
  • Carl Heastie, the Democratic speaker of the New York State Assembly, said in a statement Sunday that he agrees with Stewart-Cousins "regarding the Governor's ability to continue to lead this state."
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo
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The top Democrat in New York's Senate on Sunday urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign, saying that the scandals roiling Cuomo's administration are hindering the function of government.

The call from New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins came hours after the Democratic governor once again vowed that he would not resign.

"Everyday there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government," Stewart-Cousins said in a statement.

"We have allegations about sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the Covid-19 nursing home data and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project," the top state senator said.

"New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it. We need to govern without daily distraction."

"For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign," Stewart-Cousins said.

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Cuomo is under fire amid a growing number of allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate workplace conduct, as well as an ongoing scandal over his administration's handling of Covid nursing home death data.

In a conference call with reporters earlier Sunday, Cuomo said there's "no way" he would resign or be distracted by the crises that have engulfed his office.

NYS Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins speaks at the rally. City Hall, New York, New York, United States - 2016/10/17
Pacific Press | LightRocket | Getty Images

"I was elected by the people of this state, I wasn't elected by politicians. I'm not going to resign because of allegations," Cuomo said, arguing that doing so would be "anti-democratic."

Cuomo called for people to let New York Attorney General Letitia James complete her independent probe of the harassment claims before drawing conclusions. He had previously apologized "for whatever pain I caused," saying, "I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable."

But with two more women coming forward just a day earlier to accuse the governor of behaving inappropriately, the pressure from within Cuomo's own party shows no sign of letting up.

Carl Heastie, the Democratic speaker of the New York State Assembly, said in a statement Sunday that he agrees with Stewart-Cousins "regarding the Governor's ability to continue to lead this state."

"The allegations pertaining to the Governor that have been reported in recent weeks have been deeply disturbing, and have no place whatsoever in government, the workplace or anywhere else."

"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's statement did not explicitly call on Cuomo to resign.

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New York Gov. Cuomo apologizes, but says he won't resign