ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Cuomo’s August 10 speech began like many others have in recent months, denying the worst of the allegation made against him. However, about halfway through his statement, Cuomo’s words took a surprising turn when he announced his resignation.
“The report said I sexually harassed 11 women. That was the headline people heard and saw,” Cuomo said. “And there is a difference between alleged improper conduct and concluding sexual harassment.”
Governor Cuomo added that the headline was false, and the Attorney General’s report—with “serious flaws and issues”—should worry New Yorkers.
“Because when there is a bias or a lack of fairness in the justice system, it is a concern for everyone, not just those immediately affected,” Cuomo said.
He added that the most serious allegations made against him have “no credible factual basis in the report.”
The Attorney General’s investigation conducted 179 interviews and compiled more than 74,000 pieces of evidence.
Many times during the Governor’s speech, he pointed to his good intentions regarding these incidents.
“In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn,” Cuomo said.
Falling in line with his position statement, Cuomo utilized the generational and cultural defense to defend his actions.
Governor Cuomo also took the time to address the State Trooper—who in the AG’s investigation said Cuomo ran his hand from her stomach to her hip. He added that he recruited the female trooper because of the “lack of diversity on the state police detail.”
“Now, I don’t recall doing it, but if she said I did it, I believe her,” Cuomo said. “When I walk past them, I often will give them a grip of the arm, a pat on face, a touch on the stomach, a slap on the back. It’s my way of saying, I see you. I appreciate you, and I thank you.”
Halfway through the speech, the Governor’s statements took a sharp turn away from the sexual harassment claims. Instead, he acknowledged that this impeachment process would consume the government and be too costly for taxpayers.
“It is a matter of life and death, government operations. And wasting energy on distractions is the last thing that state government should be doing,” Cuomo said. “And I cannot be the cause of that.”
He added that the best way he can help now is if he steps aside. So, then Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will step in as the 57th Governor of New York.
“I’m very worried about the Delta variant, and so should you be,” Cuomo said. “But she [Hochul] can come up to speed quickly. And my resignation will be effective in 14 days.”
The Governor said a farewell of sorts in the closing moments of his statement. He added that everything he has done had been motivated by his love of New York.
“And New York tough means, New York loving, and I love New York,” Cuomo said.
Governor Cuomo said he stands by that this “controversy is “politically motivated.”
He added that his instinct was to fight through the controversy, but he said the resignation is the right thing for New Yorkers, and he works for them.