State and local leaders respond to Cuomo’s resignation, what it means for NY

Cuomo Under Fire

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On Tuesday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation following an Attorney General report that he sexually harassed 11 state workers. His resignation will take effect in exactly 14 days.

Former governor George Pataki, Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay (R), Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D), Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli (D), State Senator John Mannion (D), Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon (R) and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh (I) each spoke with NewsChannel 9 about what this will mean for Central New Yorkers.

However, they weren’t the only leaders with statements about Cuomo’s resignation.

Some of the highest-ranking New York State leaders have also spoken out.

“First, I want to commend the brave women who stepped forward and courageously told their stories. There is no place for sexual harassment, and today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo to resign was the right decision for the good of the people of New York. I have full confidence that Lt Governor Hochul will establish a professional and capable administration. I have spoken with Lt Governor Hochul and look forward to working together to help the people of New York.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer

The New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who originally conducted the investigation into the sexual harassment allegations, also released a statement.

“Today closes a sad chapter for all of New York, but it’s an important step towards justice. I thank Governor Cuomo for his contributions to our state. The ascension of our Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, will help New York enter a new day. We must continue to build on the progress already made and improve the lives of New Yorkers in every corner of the state. I know our state is in good hands with Lieutenant Governor Hochul at the helm, and I look forward to continuing to work with her.”

Representative John Katko also spoke out about the governor’s announcement.

“I commend the women who bravely spoke out against Governor Cuomo’s disturbing pattern of sexual harassment, abuse and retaliation. The Governor’s resignation is long overdue. Still, it does not adequately hold him accountable for his actions. Governor Cuomo abused his office and broke the law. I am glad that law enforcement in New York State continue to investigate the Governor’s actions. Criminal prosecution must remain on the table. New Yorkers continue to struggle with the lasting impacts of the ongoing pandemic. Officials in State Government, led by incoming Governor Kathy Hochul, must now focus on leading our pandemic recovery while addressing the deep-rooted corruption and abuse that has endured in Albany for far too long.”

New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who is next in line to succeed Cuomo as New York State Governor, had this to say:

“I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down. It is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers. As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor.”

Below are statements or partial statements from leaders that came pouring in following Cuomo’s announcement on Tuesday.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente: “It is a sad day for the State of New York. There are still many troubling questions that need to be answered and Governor Cuomo should be held accountable. We are living in crucial times, and above all else, our state government must function without distraction or dishonor. The people of New York deserve better.”

Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay: “Stepping down was inevitable, overdue and the only path forward for Andrew Cuomo. The scandals surrounding the governor’s office have generated one of the darkest periods in state history, and it’s fortunate the governor finally came to the realization that his resignation is clearly in the best interest of New York.”

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins: “Governor Cuomo’s resignation opens the door to a restorative future. We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the courageous women who came forward and helped pave the way for safer and more inclusive work spaces.”

NYGOP Chairman Nick Langworthy: “New Yorkers can breathe a collective sigh of relief that Andrew Cuomo will no longer be able to wield the immense power of the governor’s office to commit his corruption and abuse, but make no mistake, this resignation is simply an attempt to avoid real accountability for his numerous crimes.”

State Comptroller DiNapoli: “The Governor has done the right thing. New York is facing many challenges as we battle the ongoing impact of COVID-19. My team and I stand ready to assist incoming Governor Hochul as we move the state forward.”

Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt: “Andrew Cuomo broke the law, lied about it, and shamelessly smeared the women who came forward. His resignation is welcome, but it stops short of the justice his victims and the people of New York deserve.”

Many politicians have expressed gratitude towards the disgraced governor for eliminating the need for impeachment, like Assembly member Patricia Fahy, who said in part: Governor Cuomo made the right decision today. I commend him for putting the interests of New York State first and preventing a drawn out and expensive impeachment process.”

Assemblyman John Salka: “He has finally acted in the best interest of the people. His actions have been disturbing and inexcusable. I am pleased to see the governor step aside and allow government to function properly. I will continue to stand with these women and fight to hold the governor accountable.”

State Senator Patty Ritchie: “It is well past time to close this unfortunate chapter in New York’s history. I am relieved that today, the Governor made the right decision to step down, which will allow us to regain focus on the tremendous challenges we face as a state.”

Speaker Carl Heastie: “This has been a tragic chapter in our state’s history. Governor Cuomo’s resignation is the right decision. The brave women who stepped forward were heard. Everyone deserves to work in a harassment free environment. I have spoken with Lieutenant Governor Hochul and I look forward to working with her.”

Assemblyman Robert Smullen: “The governor’s resignation is necessary and warranted, but we must ensure that this is not the end of the story. Andrew Cuomo still has much to answer for, and he cannot escape blame or responsibility just because he’s finally seen the right thing to do is remove himself from leadership. This fight is far from over.”

Assemblyman John Lemondes: “This is a step in the right direction for New York, but it cannot be the end for Cuomo or his administration. They are all responsible for breaking federal and state laws, and they are equally responsible for the role they played in enabling the governor to prey on young women in New York.”

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli: “Governor Cuomo’s announcement today of his resignation allows the state to once again move forward and to focus on the challenges affecting the state and its people.”

State Senator Sean Ryan: “With the behavior outlined in the Attorney General’s report, it is clear the Governor violated his oath of office, and he violated the public trust. The Governor’s announcement today was a welcome – and necessary – step that will allow our government to begin to recover. It demonstrates that no amount of political influence provides immunity to the consequences of sexual harassment.”

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