by Bernard P. Lawson, The Chicago Times

August 10, 2021

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned on Tuesday amid a barrage of sexual harassment allegations, a year after he was widely praised nationally for his detailed daily briefings and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic’s darkest days.  This removes Cuomo as a poetential political rival to Biden or Harris in 2024.

Cuomo was defiant and continues to deny mistreating women and accused those calling for his removal of being politically motivated.  Cuomo believes fighting to stay in power would be harmful to the State of New York.  Of course, we know this is an easy out.

“The best way I can help now is to step aside and allow the government to get back to governing,” Cuomo stated.

Cuomo will leave office in 14 days.  The decision came a week after New York’s attorney general released the findings of an investigation into Cuomo’s sexual harassment of at least 11 women and mounting pressure from fellow democrats, including Joe Biden.  Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, 62, will be the state’s 57th governor.

Sources in the White House are quietly celebrating Cuomo’s resignation since this will leave the door open for Kamala Harris to run in 2024 after Biden, 78, will most likely not seek reelection.

Biden responded to the resignation of Cuomo by stating “I respect the governor’s decision . . . [Cuomo] done a helluva job.”  It is easy for Biden to praise now that Cuomo is no longer a threat.

Cuomo is still facing criminal charges, with a number of prosecutors across the state continuing to investigate him.  According to investigators, he subjected women to unwanted kisses, groped their breasts or buttocks, or otherwise inappropriately touched them, made insinuating remarks about their looks and sex lives, and created a work environment “rife with fear and intimidation.”  Cuomo tried to excuse his behavior as a result of his Italian upbringing.

The accusations began in news reports in December of last year and continued for months.

Cuomo called some of the allegations false and denied inappropriately touching anyone.

He did, however, admit to making some aides uncomfortable with comments he said were meant to be playful, and he apologized for some of his behavior.

The attorney general’s investigation corroborated the women’s accounts and added gruesome new ones, increasing the pressure on Cuomo.  In addition, the US Justice Department is looking into the state’s handling of nursing home death data.  Furthermore, the state attorney general is investigating whether Cuomo violated the law by using members of his staff to help write and promote his book, from which he stands to earn more than $5 million.

Bernard P. Lawson, National Political Reporter/Columnist for The Chicago Times.  Views and comments expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Chicago Times.