The Democratic leaders in the New York State Assembly and Senate are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign from his position following the fifth allegation of sexual harassment that was made public Saturday night.
"Everyday there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government. 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," Senate Majority Leader Andrew Stewart-Cousins (D) said in a statement. "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."
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie followed Stewart-Cousins' call, saying Cuomo needs to step aside.
"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," Heastie (D) said in a statement. "I too share the sentiment of the Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins regarding the Governor's ability to continue to lead this state. 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."
Earlier on Sunday, Cuomo refused to resign until Attorney General Letitia James (D) and New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFior conduct an investigation.
“There is no way I resign,” the governor said. “Let’s do the attorney general investigation. Let’s do the findings and then we go from there. But I’m not going to be distracted by this either. We have to get a budget done in three weeks. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of work to do for this state. This is not about me and accusations about me. The attorney general can handle that. This is about doing the people’s business and this next six months I believe will determine the future trajectory for New York state.”
The governor claimed legislators who are calling for his resignation "want to play politics, that’s what they do."