Once considered presidential timber, Andrew Cuomo stuns with resignation [Opinion]

New York’s three-term Governor Andrew Cuomo, 63,  has resigned. He will remain in office for 14 days before his official exit.

He is the third New York Governor to resign in disgrace. There have been nine governors of New York who resigned; six who resigned to take another office and three who resigned following allegations of misconduct or inappropriate behavior, according to Ballotpedia, 

The Governor was the subject of his Attorney General’s investigation into allegations of sexual harassment from a dozen women. The scandal erupted in February, when two former aides accused the governor of sexually harassing them. Several other women came forward soon after that with their own accounts of misconduct.

The Attorney General’s investigation appeared to sustain the allegations against the Governor by the dozen women.

The Governor is also under scrutiny for his handling of COVID 19 cases and sending those suffering from the infection into nursing homes. Critics believed he actually issued death sentences to many seniors by doing so.

At the moment it appears to be the end of a career that had the democratic Governor as future Presidential timber. He served as a Cabinet Secretary in the Clinton Administration. He is the son of Mario Cuomo the former Governor of New York. He won an Emmy and signed a $5 million dollar book deal.

Many pundits are wondering why a Governor, who denied any wrongdoing, would resign? The answer is likely found in his own party calling for his departure. His own party leaders in the state house indicated they would impeach him.

The resignation means, in some way, Cuomo avoids an ugly and lengthy impeachment process. Cuomo was renowned for his heavy-handed approach as Governor. No doubt Andrew had too few friends in the state legislature to avoid impeachment.

Prominent members of his own party previously called on him to step down, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, New York’s senior U.S. senator, and almost the entire state congressional delegation.

No doubt Andrew Cuomo won’t be in the Presidential Primary in 2024. He is damaged goods via a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his lengthy career in federal and state government.

This is one more reminder for public officials and leaders in business and not for profits: Employees have the right to work in an environment free of harassment of any kind.

Cuomo, while serving at HUD, helped the late Supervisor Roy Wilson address the substandard housing issues with migrant workers. Wilson, a Republican, worked with Cuomo and the Clinton Administration to launch a $21 million dollar effort to build 1700 housing units for the migrant workforce. For this, all of us who worked with Secretary Cuomo are grateful,  yet it can’t excuse his conduct in office.

Cuomo will be succeeded by his Lieutenant Governor Kathy Huchul. She had called for his resignation and suggested he be prosecuted for his harassment of those in his administration. Hochul, a Democrat, will be sworn in after Cuomo’s resignation takes effect and is set to fill out the remainder of his term, which runs through 2022.


Image Sources

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo: Shutterstock