ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie called for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation Sunday.
Stewart-Cousins had previously said she thought the Governor should resign if any additional allegations were made.
Two additional allegation of impropriety emerged against the governor on Saturday, bringing the total to five women who have come forward, including three former state employees.
In a statement released Sunday, the Senate Majority Leader said: “Everyday there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government.” She went on to add “We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.”
“Everyday there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government,” Stewart-Cousins said. “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. 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.”
Shortly after Stewart Cousins called for Cuomo’s resignation another prominent Democrat, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, said he:
“Shares the sentiment of Senate Majority Leader 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,” Heastie said. “I too share the sentiment of 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.”
New York GOP Chairman, Nick Langworthy, described the calls from Senator Stewart-Cousins and other officials “a weak and lame cop out.” Langworthy went on to suggest Senator Stewart-Cousins “put her money where her mouth is and push for impeachment.”
A third former aide of the Governor, 35-year-old Ana Liss, spoke to the Wall Street Journal about Cuomo’s conduct during her two years working under him as a a policy and operations aide.
The Washington Post also published a story in which 20 former staffers made allegations about the Governor creating a “hostile, toxic, workplace culture.” Among them was an aide named Karen Hinton who alleged the Governor “embraced” her twice, once after she had pulled away, after summoning her to a hotel room.
Gov. Cuomo has acknowledged some of his actions may have been: “misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation,” and publicly apologized.
During the apology, he did not reference any specific allegation or name any specific accusers. Cuomo has also repeatedly denied ever “inappropriately touching” anyone.
Rochester-area Democrats in the state legislature have joined the calls for Cuomo’s resignation.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.