Andrew Cuomo says he will resign as Governor


ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said on Tuesday he would resign from office, succumbing to a ballooning sexual harassment scandal that fueled an astonishing reversal of fortune for one of the nation’s best-known leaders.

Mr. Cuomo said his resignation would be effective in 14 days. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, will be sworn in to replace him. She will become the first female governor of New York.

The governor framed his resignation as a necessary step given the firestorm of controversy surrounding his continued leadership, including an impeachment inquiry that he referred to as a “distraction” from pressing issues pressing the state as it recovers from the pandemic.

“Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing,” Mr. Cuomo said. “And therefore that’s what I’ll do.”

The announcement from Mr. Cuomo, a three-term Democrat, came one week after a report from the New York State attorney general concluded that the governor sexually harassed nearly a dozen women, including current and former government workers, by engaging in unwanted touching and making inappropriate comments.

The 165-page report also found that Mr. Cuomo and his aides unlawfully retaliated against at least one of the women for making her complaints public and fostered a toxic work environment.

The report put increased pressure on Mr. Cuomo to resign, leading to new calls to do so from President Biden, a longtime friend of the governor, and other Democratic leaders who had withheld judgment until the report’s findings were made public, and leaving Mr. Cuomo with few, if any, defenders.

The report’s fallout had left Mr. Cuomo increasingly isolated: His top aide, Melissa DeRosa, resigned after concluding the governor had no path to remain in office, according to a person familiar with her thinking.

In the end, Mr. Cuomo followed through on the advice his top advisers and onetime allies had been offering: leave office voluntarily.

Mr. Cuomo stepped down as he faced the specter of forced removal from office through impeachment and was poised to become only the second governor to be impeached in the state’s history.

Following the report’s release, the leaders of the State Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, began moving to draft articles of impeachment and appeared to have enough support to impeach him.