New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced his resignation Tuesday amid nearly a dozen sexual harassment allegations against him corroborated last week in a report by the state attorney general.
The report came as pressure mounted for Gov. Cuomo to step aside, with two-thirds of the New York State Assembly, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden all calling for Cuomo to leave office.
While Cuomo disputes many facts in Attorney General Letitia James' report and attributed his behavior to being "too familiar with people," in a press conference Tuesday he apologized to those he "truly offended."
Cuomo added that he believes the scandal is politically motivated and said his "instinct" is to fight through the controversy. He said the "months of political and legal controversy" that would result from his remaining in office would ultimately damage New York during a sensitive time as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He concluded the press conference by speaking of how the scandal has affected his three daughters.
"I have seen the look in their eyes and the expressions on their faces, and it hurt..." Cuomo said. "I want them to know from the bottom of my heart, that I never did and never would intentionally disrespect a woman. ...Your dad made mistakes and he apologized and he learned from it."
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple announced last week that his office is investigating a criminal complained filed by a woman who claims Cuomo groped her breast and buttocks during encounters at the executive mansion. Cuomo has denied the claim.
State legislators are concluding an impeachment inquiry into sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo, as well as his handling of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. The proceeding would be New York's first impeachment in over a century.
Cuomo said his resignation would take effect in 14 days.
Lieutenant Gov. Kathleen Hochul will take his place. She will be the first woman to serve as New York's governor.