Cuomo Resigns Amid Scandals, Ending Decade-Long Run in Disgrace
LUIS FERRÉ-SADURNÍ, J. DAVID GOODMAN
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said on Tuesday that he would resign from office, succumbing to a ballooning sexual harassment scandal in an astonishing reversal of fortune for one of the nation’s best-known leaders.
纽约州州长安德鲁·科莫(Andrew M. Cuomo)周二表示，受愈演愈烈的性骚扰丑闻影响，他将辞去职务。他是美国最知名的领导人之一，形势的逆转令人吃惊。
Mr. Cuomo said his resignation would take effect in 14 days. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, will be sworn in to replace him, becoming the first woman in history to occupy New York State’s top office.
“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 in remarks streamed from his office in Midtown Manhattan. “And therefore, that’s what I’ll do.”
Mr. Cuomo’s dramatic fall was shocking in its velocity and vertical drop: A year ago, the governor was being hailed as a national hero for his steady leadership amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The resignation of Mr. Cuomo, 63, a three-term Democrat, came a 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’s findings put increased pressure on Mr. Cuomo to resign, with even President Biden, a longtime friend, advising him to do so. It spurred the State Assembly — Mr. Cuomo’s last political bulwark in an Albany increasingly arrayed against him — to take steps toward impeachment. And it left Mr. Cuomo with few, if any, allies to fight on with him.
The fallout from the report was swifter than even those closest to Mr. Cuomo expected. He quickly became isolated and grew more so by the day. His top aide, Melissa DeRosa, resigned Sunday. On Monday, the speaker of the State Assembly, Carl E. Heastie, made clear that there would be no “deal” to allow Mr. Cuomo to avoid an impeachment that appeared increasingly inevitable.
报告引发的后果之快，甚至超过最接近科莫的人的预期。他很快遭到孤立，且一天比一天严重。他的高级助手梅丽莎·德罗萨(Melissa DeRosa)于周日辞职。周一，州议会议长卡尔·E·赫斯提(Carl E. Heastie)明确表示，不会有任何“交易”可以让科莫避免似乎越来越势在必行的弹劾。
In the end, Mr. Cuomo followed through on the advice his top advisers and onetime allies had been offering: leave office voluntarily.
By stepping down, Mr. Cuomo dampened talk of impeachment in the State Assembly, which is dominated by Democrats, and left open the possibility, however remote, for a political revival.
In a 21-minute speech that was by turns contrite and defiant, Mr. Cuomo decried the effort to remove him and acknowledged that his initial instinct had been “to fight through this controversy, because I truly believe it is politically motivated.”
“This situation and moment are not about the facts,” he said. “It’s not about the truth. It’s not about thoughtful analysis. It’s not about how do we make the system better. This is about politics. And our political system today is too often driven by the extremes.”
The governor said he took “full responsibility” for his actions as he denied ever touching anyone inappropriately. He sought to frame the allegations from 11 women as stemming from generational differences and even thanked them for coming forward.
“In my mind, I have never crossed the line with anyone,” Mr. Cuomo said. “But I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.”
At one point, he addressed his three daughters directly to let them know that “I never did and I never would intentionally disrespect a woman.”
“Your dad made mistakes,” he said to a room filled with staff members, some of them teary-eyed, most caught by surprise. “And he apologized. And he learned from it. And that’s what life is all about.”
His speech was prefaced by a 45-minute presentation from his personal lawyer, Rita Glavin, who blamed the media for creating a frenzied environment. She sought to cast doubt on many of the women’s allegations and the level of seriousness of some of the others.
“This report got key facts wrong,” she said. “It omitted key evidence, and it failed to include witnesses whose testimony would not support the narrative that it was clear this report would weave from Day 1.”
The allegations led to a barrage of calls for his resignation in March from top Democrats, including Senator Chuck Schumer and most of the state’s congressional delegation. Under immense pressure, and in an effort to buy himself time, Mr. Cuomo authorized Letitia James, the state attorney general, to oversee an investigation, urging voters to wait for the facts before reaching a conclusion.
这些指控导致民主党高层人士在3月纷纷要求科莫辞职，其中包括参议员查克·舒默(Chuck Schumer)和该州大部分国会代表团成员。在巨大的压力下，为了给自己争取时间，科莫授权州总检察长利蒂夏·詹姆斯(Letitia James)负责调查，并敦促选民在得出结论之前等待事实真相。
The Assembly also began a wide-ranging impeachment investigation earlier this year. That inquiry was looking not only at sexual harassment allegations, but also at other accusations involving Mr. Cuomo’s misuse of power, including the possible illegal use of state resources to write a book about leadership last year for which he received $5.1 million, as well as his handling of nursing homes.
The inquiry was unfolding slowly, but the attorney general’s report eroded what little support Mr. Cuomo had in the Assembly. Mr. Cuomo was left with two options: step down or risk becoming only the second New York governor to be impeached in state history.
The last elected New York State governor, Eliot Spitzer, also resigned, after it emerged in 2008 that he had been a client of a high-end prostitution ring.
In recent months, Mr. Cuomo had tried to steer attention away from the investigations and scandals that had battered his administration, seeking to counter his critics’ contention that he had lost the capacity to govern. His top advisers believed that the good will he had amassed during the pandemic would allow him to survive, despite the findings from the state attorney general’s investigation, which was being conducted by a team of outside lawyers.
But Mr. Cuomo could not contain the scandal with his usual, and typically effective, mix of threats and charm.
Indeed, the persona that made him a political matinee idol during the pandemic — that of a paternal, and sometimes pugnacious, micromanager — seemed ill-suited to addressing the emotionally charged allegations of sexual harassment against him, some made by women who were not even half his age.