‘He is wholly unfit to serve’: Calls for Cuomo’s removal amass after AG James’ bombshell harassment findings

Tuesday - 03/08/2021 13:01
The report details cases of harassment by the governor of current and former employees that include unwanted groping, kissing, hugging and inappropriate comments that accusers called “deeply humiliating, uncomfortable, offensive, or inappropriate.”

Demands for Gov. Cuomo to resign or be promptly removed from office poured in Tuesday after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her investigators have corroborated allegations that the governor sexually harassed several women.

Mayor de Blasio reiterated calls for Cuomo to step down just after James’ report was released, and several other pols also joined in on the chorus.

De Blasio said that while he hadn’t yet read it, he continues to believe Cuomo’s behavior is “disqualifying.”
 

Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a media availability with Dave A. Chokshi, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at City Hall on Monday, August 2, 2021.
Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a media availability with Dave A. Chokshi,
Commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at City Hall on Monday, August 2, 2021. 
(Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


When asked about details in the report such as Cuomo fondling an aide’s breast and dubbing female assistants the “mingle mamas,” de Blasio called the account “troubling.”

“The summary you just gave represents behavior that’s unacceptable —unacceptable from anyone, let alone a public servant,” de Blasio said. “I’ve been very clear about the fact that what we’ve seen is disqualifying. I’ll look at this report and have more to say, but very, very troubling and painful to hear that accounting of a powerful person treating people that way.”

Mariann Wang, an attorney representing two of Cuomo’s alleged victims, praised James’ office for an “extraordinarily thorough and detailed” 168-page report that spells out the damning findings of her probe into the governor.

“Cuomo’s misogyny and abuse cannot be denied. He has been doing this for years, without any repercussions,” Wang said. “He should not be in charge of our government and should not be in any position of power over anyone else.”
 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Theodore Parisienne/for New York Daily News)


Several elected officials echoed Wang’s sentiment.

“Governor Cuomo used his office to sexually assault, harass, intimidate, and humiliate his employees. He is wholly unfit to serve and must be removed from office immediately,” said Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Democrat who alleges the governor personally threatened him last year after he criticized his administration’s pandemic policies. “There is no measure left to hide this truth: the governor broke the law so we must hold him accountable.”

Alongside James’ probe, the State Assembly has been conducting an impeachment investigation into Cuomo.

That probe is expected to ramp up significantly in light of James declaring in her office’s report that Cuomo violated “state and federal laws” by sexually harassing 11 women, many of whom are current or former aides.

Cuomo, who has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, did not immediately offer public comment after the release of James’ report.

Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander, who’s expected to take over as the next city comptroller in January, lamented the fact that Cuomo is still in office even though his alleged victims first came forward with harassment claims six months ago.

“Gov. Cuomo should have resigned in March,” Lander said. “He should resign now. If he does not, he should be impeached.”
 

New York State Senator Michael Gianaris speaks during a press conference announcing legislation to reform police use of force laws in Manhattan on May 21, 2021 in New York City.
New York State Senator Michael Gianaris speaks during a press conference announcing
legislation to reform police use of force laws in Manhattan on May 21, 2021 in New York City.
 (Michael M Santiago/GettyImages/Getty Images)


Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris said the report shows that Cuomo “engaged in disturbing and unacceptable behavior.”

“Andrew Cuomo lacks the integrity required to be the leader of our state and can no longer serve as New York’s governor,” he said. “He must heed the calls of so many New York leaders and resign.”

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 Keywords: New York

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