Andrew Cuomo will resign from his post as the governor of New York amidst an investigation by the state’s attorney general into his alleged sexual harassment of multiple women. The governor announced that he will resign in two weeks in a press conference on Tuesday (Aug. 10).
“Government needs to perform. It is a matter of life and death,” he told reporters. “… Wasting energy on distractions is the last thing the state government should be doing. And I cannot be the cause of that.
“… I would never want to be unhelpful in any way,” he continued. “And I think that given the circumstances, 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. Because I work for you and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you.”
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will serve as New York’s governor for the remainder of Cuomo’s term, making her the state’s first female governor.
On Tuesday, Cuomo also apologized for his behavior, but insisted he did not sexually harass anyone.
“I do hug and kiss people casually, women and men. I have done it all my life. It’s who I’ve been since I can remember,” he said. “In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate.”
Last week, New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report on her investigative findings, which claimed Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, nine of them state employees, and created a “hostile work environment for women.” In wake of the findings, the State Assembly began organizing impeachment proceedings against the governor, which he admitted he would not be able to counter.
According to NBC, local law enforcement officials are also investigating whether or not he will face criminal charges.
During his press conference, Cuomo addressed his three daughters.
“I want them to know from the bottom of my heart that I never did and I never would intentionally disrespect a woman, treat any woman differently than I would want them treated and that is the God’s honest truth,” he said. “Your dad made mistakes. And he apologized and he learned from it and that’s what life is all about.”
Watch Cuomo’s press conference on Twitter below.