New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined more than 55 Democratic state legislators on Thursday in calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation amid concurrent scandals involving the governor’s mishandling of nursing homes during the pandemic and the alleged coverup that followed, as well as six harassment allegations that have been made against him.
“It is disgusting to me, and he can no longer serve as governor,” de Blasio said during a press briefing.
De Blasio’s comments follow a statement from state legislators who said Cuomo “has lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature, rendering him ineffective in this time of most urgent need.”
“We have a Lieutenant Governor who can step in and lead for the remainder of the term, and this is what is best for New Yorkers in this critical time,” the statement said.
“It is time for Governor Cuomo to resign,” the lawmakers added.
Shortly after the statement, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat representing the Bronx, said he would be “meeting with members in conference today on potential paths forward.”
The mounting calls for the governor to resign come one day after the Albany Times Union reported that a sixth woman had accused the governor of sexual misconduct.
A member of the executive chamber staff, whose name the paper withheld, says the governor inappropriately groped her last year at the Executive Mansion after she had been called to do work, according to the report.
A staff member had been summoned to the mansion to assist the governor with a “minor technical issue involving his mobile phone” when the staffer found herself alone in the governor’s private residence on the second floor when he “closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her,” a source with direct knowledge of the allegation told the paper.
The source reportedly told the paper that the woman, who is much younger than the 63-year-old governor, told Cuomo to stop and that her “broader allegations include that he frequently engaged in flirtatious behavior with her, and that it was not the only time that he had touched her.”
The new accuser is the fifth Cuomo staffer to come forward to accuse the governor of sexual misconduct.
New York attorney general Letitia James announced last week that her office had received a referral from the Cuomo administration allowing for an independent investigation of their harassment claims.
The sexual harassment allegations come as the New York governor is already embroiled in a scandal over his directive early in the pandemic that forced nursing homes to accept coronavirus-positive patients from hospitals. The Cuomo administration later reportedly worked to coverup the toll the virus took on nursing homes, with top aides to the governor reportedly rewriting a July report by state health officials to conceal the number of nursing home residents who died from coronavirus in the state.
Cuomo last week said there is “no way I resign,” calling the suggestion “anti-Democratic.”