NEW YORK – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo mentioned Wednesday that he wouldn’t resign within the wake of a collection of sexual misconduct accusations leveled towards him by younger girls however supplied a recent apology and vowed to “absolutely cooperate” with a evaluation by the state’s lawyer common.
“I’m not going to resign,” Cuomo advised a information convention after he supplied an emotional apology for what he mentioned was habits that made “folks really feel uncomfortable.”
“I really feel terrible about it and albeit I’m embarrassed by it,” mentioned the Democratic governor, who has additionally contended with allegations in latest weeks that his administration sought to downplay the variety of aged nursing residence residents killed by COVID-19 because the begin of the pandemic.
Cuomo mentioned his habits towards the ladies who’ve accused him of misconduct was unintentional and maintained that he by no means touched anybody inappropriately. Even so, he acknowledged that it’s “customized” for him to kiss and hug folks when greeting them.
“I perceive that sensitivities have modified and habits has modified and I get it, and I’ll study from it,” he mentioned.
Three girls, together with two former aides, have come ahead just lately to say that Cuomo had sexually harassed them or made inappropriate remarks. Lindsey Boylan, who first got here ahead in December, mentioned the undesirable advances included an unsolicited kiss on the lips in Cuomo’s New York Metropolis workplace, which Cuomo denied.
Boylan, a candidate for Manhattan borough president, dismissed the governor’s apology in a Twitter message Wednesday. “How can New Yorkers belief you @NYGovCuomo to steer our state should you ‘don’t know’ if you’ve been inappropriate with your personal workers?” she wrote.
Investigation to start
The second lady to element her expertise is Charlotte Bennett, a former government assistant and well being coverage adviser who advised The New York Instances in February that Cuomo peppered her with questions on her romantic life final yr in what she seen as an effort to have intercourse along with her.
A 3rd lady has additionally come ahead, telling The New York Instances the governor made undesirable advances and bodily contact after assembly her at a marriage in 2019.
In response to Bennett, Cuomo launched an announcement Sunday saying he generally playfully teased colleagues and was sorry if he made anybody uncomfortable, and his workplace granted the referral required by state legislation for New York Lawyer Normal Letitia James to research the complaints.
Debra Katz, the lawyer who represented Christine Blasey Ford when she alleged that Supreme Court docket Justice Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, is now representing Bennett. In an announcement Wednesday, Katz mentioned Cuomo’s apology was “filled with falsehoods.”
Reuters couldn’t instantly attain representatives for the opposite two girls.
“I apologized a number of days in the past. I apologize at present, I’ll apologize tomorrow, I’ll apologize the day after,” Cuomo mentioned Wednesday as he pleaded with the general public to “get the info” earlier than forming an opinion.
The complaints about sexual misconduct emerged after questions mounted over Cuomo’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic final yr because it tore via nursing properties. New York state politicians, lots of them fellow Democrats, have mentioned that Cuomo tried to silence his critics and routinely ruled via intimidation.
In January, James’ workplace issued a report that mentioned the state well being division considerably undercounted the loss of life toll in nursing properties and applied insurance policies which will have contributed to the loss of life toll.