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New York governor resigns amid harassment claims

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GOVERNOR Andrew Cuomo announcing his resignation in televised speech at his office. / SCREEN GRAB FROM GOV. ANDREW CUOMO’S VIDEO

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, facing possible impeachment over sexual harassment claims from 11 women and mounting pressure from fellow Democrats, announced his resignation on Tuesday.

It was a stunning downfall for the 63-year-old Cuomo, who a year ago earned praise for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic before being engulfed in sexual harassment allegations and accusations that he covered up the scale of Covid deaths in nursing homes.

He comes from a family that is the closest thing the state has to political royalty — his father Mario served three terms as governor and his brother Chris is a star host on CNN — but in two weeks, he will leave office.

“I think that given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government,” Cuomo said in a live televised address.
“My resignation will be effective in 14 days.”

His announcement came just days after the resignation of a top aide, Melissa DeRosa, and the filing of a criminal complaint against him by a former executive assistant, Brittany Commisso.
In her complaint, Commisso said Cuomo touched her inappropriately twice, groping her behind and her breast last year while they were working at the executive mansion.
Cuomo will hand over the reins of the nation’s fourth-most populous state to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, a fellow Democrat who will become New York’s first-ever female governor.

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