Assemblymember Kelles Statement on the Resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo

This afternoon Governor Cuomo announced his resignation.This announcement followed a week after the release of the NY Attorney General’s report, which provided clear evidence that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women and violated state and federal law over the course of his tenure, including an extensively documented charge by a state trooper corroborated by her fellow officers. The AG’s 168-page report, including interviews with 179 individuals, details 11 charges of sexual harassment, outlines abuse of power, and highlights a culture of fear and intimidation implemented by the Governor and his aides in the NYS Executive branch.

The Governor took the only appropriate action by resigning from office today. While his resignation will not erase the trauma experienced by the women he harmed, I do hope it will bring them some closure and allow them to begin to heal. I am in awe of these women for their courage in coming forward and sharing their excruciatingly difficult stories. We stand with these 11 women and all survivors of sexual harassment and assault. I will continue to fight for a New York that has no place for the treatment these women endured while serving as public servants.

The Governor’s resignation does not prohibit the continuation of the impeachment investigation and impeachment trials. I am hearing from many constituents urging the NY Assembly to follow through with impeachment proceedings regardless of a resignation noting that there are four separate issues under investigation: sexual harassment, withholding of information about nursing homes data, the use of state resources for a personal book deal, and withholding of information about the structural integrity and contracts with the Mario Cuomo bridge. I support and agree with the sentiment of my constituents that the impeachment proceedings should move forward. We should be as expeditious and thorough as possible. It is the Assembly’s responsibility to present a strong and thorough case to the Senate where an impeachment trial will take place if they choose to pursue this course of action.

New Yorker’s should feel assured in the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul as she transitions into her new role as New York’s first woman governor. Governor Hochul is a steadfast and unwavering public servant who served New York as a Member of Congress before becoming our 77th Lieutenant Governor. I am proud to serve with a Governor who is a champion of women and working families.