Following calls to resign by hundreds of organizations and elected officials including NYSCADV, NYSCASA and other victim rights advocacy groups, Governor Cuomo announced today that he would resign from office in 14 days in light of Attorney General Letitia James’ findings that he sexually harassed 11 women. While not admitting to the harassment, Governor Cuomo said his resignation is needed to “let government get back to governing.” His video statement is available on YouTube here. The State Assembly could still move to impeach the Governor, but it is not clear if the Legislature will continue to pursue impeachment in light of today’s announcement.
Kathy Hochul has been serving as the state Lieutenant Governor since 2015. She is an attorney and former Congresswoman from Buffalo. When Governor Cuomo announced his impending resignation, the Lt. Governor said, “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.
DV advocates who participated in NYSCADV’s 2019 Day of Action may recall the Lt. Governor’s comments regarding her grandmother’s experiences as a domestic violence survivor, which led her mother, Pat Courtney, to dedicate her professional life to working with DV survivors. In fact, her mother opened the Kathleen Mary House, a transitional DV shelter in Buffalo, when she was 70 years old. For more information about the Lt. Governor’s family connection to domestic abuse, see here.