ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A group of 59 Democratic lawmakers demanded New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation Thursday in the wake of an allegation that he groped an aide at the Executive Mansion last year.
The letter released by the group comes as Cuomo’s grip on power in the state appeared increasingly tenuous. The top Democrat in the state Assembly, Speaker Carl Heastie, said he will meet with members in conference today on “potential paths forward” in light of mounting allegations.
In New York, the Assembly is the legislative house that could move to impeach Cuomo, who has faced multiple allegations that he made the workplace an uncomfortable place for young women with sexually suggestive remarks and behavior, including unwanted touching and a kiss.
At least five accusers — Charlotte Bennett, Lindsey Boylan, Ana Liss, Karen Hinton and the latest one — worked for the governor in Albany or during his time in President Bill Clinton’s Cabinet. Another, Anna Ruch, told The New York Times that she met Cuomo at a friend’s wedding.
The Times Union of Albany reported Wednesday that an unidentified aide had claimed Cuomo reached under her shirt and fondled her after summoning her to his official residence.
Nineteen senators and 40 Assembly members said in a letter Thursday that it was time for Cuomo to go.
“In light of the Governor’s admission of inappropriate behavior and the findings of altered data on nursing home COVID-19 deaths he has lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature, rendering him ineffective in this time of most urgent need,” the letter said. “It is time for Governor Cuomo to resign.”
Cuomo has repeatedly said he won’t resign and urged the public to await the outcome of an investigation by state Attorney General Letitia James into his conduct. Cuomo’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Cuomo has denied inappropriately touching anyone but has said he is sorry if he made anyone uncomfortable and didn’t intend to do so.
The Times Union of Albany reported that the governor had summoned the aide to the Executive Mansion in Albany last year, saying he needed help with his cellphone.
The aide, whom it did not name, was alone with Cuomo when he closed the door, reached under her shirt and fondled her, the newspaper reported. The newspaper’s reporting is based on an unidentified source with direct knowledge of the woman’s accusation.
“I have never done anything like this,” Cuomo said through a spokesperson Wednesday evening.
“The details of this report are gut-wrenching,” Cuomo said, adding that he would not speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation, given an ongoing investigation overseen by the state attorney general.