Cuomo maintains calls for resignation are political, vows more to say on sexual harassment claims

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Denis Slattery, New York Daily News
·3 min read
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ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo again painted calls for his resignation as nothing more than political posturing Friday as he lamented that the public has only heard “one side of the story” when it comes to sexual harassment allegations against him.

The governor, who appeared at various events this week with fellow Democrats who have called on him to step down, remained defiant when pressed about his political future and relationships with other elected officials.

“People take political positions everyday,” Cuomo said during an appearance at the Mission Society of New York City in Harlem. “We often have different political positions, I understand that. But we separate political positions and our official duty.”

Earlier this week, the governor was joined by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers), who has called for his resignation amid mounting scandals, at an event promoting COVID-19 vaccinations at the Yonkers Police Athletic League Center.

A spokesman for the senator said that her “position on the governor has not changed” but noted that it is “important that people get vaccinated and she has been pushing to expand access to this location for a long time.”

Cuomo has held a spate of press-free events in recent months and only taken limited questions via phone or remote access as he faces an impeachment inquiry, an independent investigation into misconduct allegation being overseen by Attorney General Letitia James’ office and a federal probe into how his administration handled COVID deaths in nursing homes.

The governor has denied any wrongdoing and again said he has no intention of stepping down as the multiple probes pay out.

But, he said, he will have a lot to say once James’ office concludes its investigation into allegations made by several current and former staffers who claim Cuomo oversaw a toxic, sexist workplace and often made inappropriate comments about their appearances.

“On the review, what I’ve said there a number of times ... is, let the review proceed and then there’ll be a lot to talk about in the review,” he said. ‘There’s a lot that I want to talk about in the review. You know there’s been one side of the story.

“So there will be a lot to talk about on this situation and I am very eager to do it. But I want to respect the process for the time being,” he added.

Cuomo has refused to address the allegations against him in recent weeks after initially apologizing for making anyone uncomfortable and outright denying that he ever touched anyone inappropriately.

Last month, the governor labeled calls for his resignation “anti-democratic” and blasted “cancel culture” for the political fallout he has faced after rising to national prominence early on during the pandemic.

The three-term Democratic governor also vowed to grant reporters more access after facing pushback over his string of closed-door events in recent weeks.

Cuomo noted that beginning next week his office will be planning more outdoor events and said the press would be welcome to them, despite being barred from an alfresco Earth Day appearance on Long Island a day earlier.

“When we do, we’ll have more flexibility, and then we’ll have press at the press conferences,” he said.