New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was forced to resign in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him, said goodbye Monday with a message blaming the New York attorney general, politicians and the press for his downfall in a speech delivered just hours before he officially left office.
“When government politicizes allegations and the headlines condemn without facts, you undermine the justice system — and that doesn’t serve women and it doesn’t serve men or society,” Cuomo said at the start of his last message as governor, after 10 years in office.
Cuomo announced last August 10 his retirement, which he said would be effective in two weeks, after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a report that concluded that the New York politician had sexually harassed 11 women in his work environment, and the state legislature initiated a process to hold a motion of censure against him.
The tax report even prompted U.S. President Joe Biden to call on him to resign.
In his remarks, the governor said once again that the allegations are supposedly “not grounded in fact,” despite all the evidence poured out against him.
“Allegations must still be scrutinized and verified whether made by a woman or a man. That is our basic justice system,” stressed Cuomo, who in the 15-minute speech made no reference to his immediate or mid-term future.
The governor, who on the day he announced his retirement assured that he took “full responsibility for his actions” even as he continued to believe that he had never made advances against anyone, declared today that prolonging the situation that was unleashed as a result of his alleged harassment “could only cause governmental paralysis.”
Cuomo leaves a message to the most radical wing of his party
In addition, he took advantage of his last speech still in office to lash out against the most progressive wing of his political grouping (the Democratic Party), which he blamed for the failure of negotiations for Amazon to build a headquarters in New York, as well as for wanting to withdraw funds from the Police.
Cuomo, who will be replaced on Tuesday by his lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, whom he wished every success in this stage, said goodbye with the phrase he made famous during his daily press conferences since the pandemic broke out:
“New York, always stay tough, smart, united, disciplined and loving. It’s the essence of what makes New Yorkers so special. God bless you,” he concluded.