Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, who became friends with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the past two years, joined three other governors and President Joe Biden in calling for him to resign following an independent investigation into allegations that Cuomo sexually harassed nearly a dozen women.
In conjunction with Lamont, Governors Dan McKee of Rhode Island, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania released a brief statement: “We are appalled at the findings of the independent investigation by the New York Attorney General. Governor Cuomo should resign from office.”
Lamont, who went on a fishing trip with Cuomo in 2019 and worked closely with him during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, was unwilling to call for his resignation earlier in the day Tuesday.
“During the worst of COVID he was a partner for the state of Connecticut to work through this. In terms of the other allegations or what they found, I’ll let justice make its call,” Lamont said Tuesday when asked about the report.
He later issued the statement with the other northeastern governors.
The 165-page report, released Tuesday by the office of New York state Attorney General Letitia James, detailed the comments and in some cases unwanted touching of staffers in the executive chamber, including one of the female troopers on his protective detail.
Of 11 women whose allegations were deemed credible on Tuesday, nine were current or former members of the executive chamber or were employees of other state agencies or state-affiliated entities.
The report says Cuomo touched some of the women without their consent, and some feared retaliation if they came forward. The trooper accused the governor of inappropriately running his finger from her neck to her spine and then feeling her stomach from her belly button to her hips.
Cuomo denied the allegations in a short video.
“The facts are much different than what has been portrayed,” Cuomo said.
“I want you to hear directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately,” he said. “Or made inappropriate sexual advances.”
Biden, who had said in the spring that if the accusations were true that Cuomo should resign, reaffirmed that position Tuesday, according to Politico.
The report that followed a five-month investigation by James concluded that Cuomo “fostered a toxic workplace that enabled harassment and created a hostile work environment where staffers did not feel comfortable for coming forward with complaints.”
However, James said the report “does not have any criminal consequences.”
New York’s legislature could move to impeach the three-term Democratic governor.
The New York Constitution grants the 150-member state Assembly the power to impeach officials by the vote of a simple majority, or 76 lawmakers. William “Plain Bill” Sulzer is the only governor that has ever been impeached in the state.