De Blasio, New York Democrats demand Cuomo resign over sexual harassment claims

A billboard urging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign is seen near downtown on March 2, 2021 in Albany, New York.

Matthew Cavanaugh | Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and nearly 60 Democratic members of New York’s legislature demanded Thursday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo, himself a Democrat, resign because of multiple sexual harassment claims and a cover-up of Covid death data by his administration.

The demands came a day after an Albany newspaper reported that a member of Cuomo’s staff had accused him of groping her in the governor’s mansion last year.

“It’s deeply troubling,” de Blasio, a frequent antagonist of his fellow Democrat Cuomo, said during a news conference.

“The specific allegation that the governor called an employee of his, someone who he had power over, called them to a private place and then sexually assaulted her is absolutely unacceptable to me,” de Blasio said.

“It is disgusting to me, and he can no longer serve as governor.”

And Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, another Democrat, in a statement Thursday said: “In light of allegations concerning the Governor over the last several weeks, I will be meeting with members in conference today on potential paths forward.”

Cuomo, who has repeatedly refused to resign in the past week, denied the allegation.

I have never done anything like this,” Cuomo said through a spokesperson Wednesday.

But three other former Cuomo aides, as well as several other women, already had accused him of sexual harassment, or making inappropriate comments and physical contact.

Those claims are the subject of an investigation being overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James.

A federal criminal investigation is eyeing the suppression by Cuomo aides of data on coronavirus-related deaths in nursing home residents.

Cuomo “has lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature, rendering him ineffective in this time of most urgent need,” the 59 Democratic members of the state Assembly and Senate said in a joint letter calling for the Democratic governor to step down.

The number of signatories to that demand comprise nearly 40% of the Democratic Party’s total membership in the Assembly and Senate, where it holds rock-solid majorities.

Forty of the letter signers serve in the Assembly. If all of those Democrats joined forces with the 43 Republicans in the Assembly, they would have seven more votes than the minimum 76 votes required to impeach the governor.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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