US President Joe Biden joined main Democrats Tuesday in calling on highly effective New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign after an unbiased investigation concluded that he sexually harassed a number of girls.
Cuomo, who drew reward nationwide for his early pandemic response, denied inappropriate conduct and resisted speedy calls to quit after the probe discovered he harassed present and former New York state workers.
But his place was trying more and more untenable late Tuesday after Biden and House speaker Nancy Pelosi stated the three-term governor ought to step down and state lawmakers moved to impeach him.
“I think he should resign,” Biden instructed reporters in Washington.
The explosive report detailed allegations by 11 girls that paint a “deeply disturbing yet clear” image of a sample of abusive conduct by Cuomo and his senior employees, state Attorney General Letitia James stated, saying the findings.
It was not clear if the governor would face felony prosecution, with James saying the investigation was “civil in nature,” however US media reported that the district legal professional’s workplace in state capital Albany had opened an investigation.
The five-month investigation “concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law,” James instructed a information convention.
She stated Cuomo engaged “in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous comments of a suggestive sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”
The investigation additionally discovered that Cuomo and his senior workforce took retaliatory motion in opposition to at the very least one former worker for coming ahead together with her story, she added.
Cuomo issued an unequivocal denial.
“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” he stated in a pre-recorded televised assertion.
“I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult live in public view. That is just not who I am. And that’s not who I have ever been.”
And he advised that resignation was not on his thoughts, saying: “What matters to me at the end of the day is getting the most done I can for you.
“And that’s what I do each day. And I can’t be distracted from that job. We have quite a bit to do.”
Cuomo also published a response to every allegation made by the women against him on his website, adding: “Please take the time to learn the details and resolve for your self.”
Defending his actions, he included photographs of outstanding Americans, together with Biden and ex-president Barack Obama, kissing and hugging individuals.
‘Climate of fear’
One former employee said Cuomo slipped his hand under her blouse last year, while a trooper on Cuomo’s protective detail said he inappropriately touched her stomach and hip.
His conduct was “not simply quaint affection and conduct as he and a few of his employees would have it, however illegal sex-based harassment,” said Anne Clark, one of the lawyers heading the investigation.
None of the women welcomed his attentions, the other lawyer leading the probe, Joon Kim, said. “All of them discovered it disturbing, humiliating, uncomfortable and inappropriate.”
Clark detailed one incident where Cuomo prepared a letter he wanted to release to the press attacking one of the alleged victims, though he was ultimately persuaded not to.
And Kim said Cuomo and his staff fostered a “local weather of concern” that kept women from speaking out.
The investigators said that at least one report has been made to police about Cuomo’s behavior, and that their findings could be used in any criminal investigations.
The women involved can also decide whether they want to sue Cuomo, they said.
“I’m impressed by all of the courageous girls who got here ahead. But extra importantly, I imagine them,” said James.
The charismatic Cuomo, a moderate who still enjoys considerable support amongst voters, had hoped to go one better than his father Mario Cuomo by winning a fourth term in November 2022 elections.
But it looked increasingly likely that he could be forced out before then as state assembly speaker Carl Heastie announced that Cuomo had “misplaced the boldness” of its Democratic majority and “can not stay in workplace.”