Andrew Cuomo is stepping down from his post as the governor of New York in two weeks, and his successor will make history by replacing him.
On Tuesday (Aug. 10), lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul used her Twitter account to announce that she would be taking the place of Cuomo, who stepped down after New York Attorney General Letitia James determined that he sexually harassed 11 women during his tenure. She will be the state’s first female governor.
“I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down. It is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers,” wrote Hochul. “As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor.”
Last week, James announced that the findings from her investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo.
“We also conclude that the Executive Chamber’s culture — one filled with fear and intimidation, while at the same time normalizing the Governor’s frequent flirtations and gender-based comments — contributed to the conditions that allowed the sexual harassment to occur and persist,” reads a passage from the findings.
“That culture also influenced the improper and inadequate ways in which the Executive Chamber has responded to allegations of harassment,” it continues.
Cuomo’s resignation arrived as public criticism mounted. In a press conference he conducted earlier today, he explained his decision to step down.
“Government needs to perform. It is a matter of life and death,” Cuomo 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.”