ALBANY, N.Y.—Assemblywoman Anna Kelles has officially called for Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign his seat after several allegations of misconduct have arisen in the past few weeks, ranging from inappropriate comments and alleged harassment to the latest accusations of an “aggressive groping” in the governor’s mansion, reported Wednesday by the Albany Times-Union. In total, six women have come forward over the last few weeks accusing the governor of misconduct.
Kelles, who took office in January after replacing the retiring Barbara Lifton in the Assembly, signed on to a letter with 58 other statewide elected officials in the State Assembly and the State Senate saying that Cuomo should immediately resign. All of the signatories are Democrats, likely by design to mitigate any calls of partisanship. The letter makes note not only of the sexual misconduct allegations but also the nursing home scandal, both of which are under investigation by the state’s Attorney General.
“In the meantime, the Governor needs to put the people of New York first,” the letter states. “We have a Lieutenant Governor who can step in and lead for the remainder of the term, and this is what is best for New Yorkers in this critical time. It is time for Governor Cuomo to resign.”
Kelles had previously released statements indicating she felt Cuomo should leave office only if Attorney General Letitia James’ investigations into his conduct found actionable guilt. The newest letter, though, removes any caveats even as it encourages James’ investigations to continue.
“As legislators and as New Yorkers we all must decide what is best for the future of New York State,” the letter states. “The budget, the fight against COVID-19, and restarting the economy all demand clear and trustworthy leadership. In light of the Governor’s admission of inappropriate behavior and the findings of altered data on nursing home COVID-19 deaths he has lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature, rendering him ineffective in this time of most urgent need.”
If Cuomo were to resign, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul would take his place. Despite internet conspiracy thinking, she is highly unlikely to pardon former President Donald Trump as his business dealings in the state are under investigation.