New York Governor Cuomo has resigned over allegations of sexual harassment

Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has resigned over allegations of sexual harassment: "The best way I can help right now is to step down."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that he would resign, effective 14 days later. His resignation comes a week after an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James found that he sexually harassed 11 women, including employees and women who did not work in his department.

"The best way I can help her right now is to step down," Cuomo told a news briefing.

"The transition should be smooth," Cuomo said.

Cuomo began his remarks by defending his behavior but said he could not deny "the way the political winds are blowing."

The investigation and accountability "will consume the government, cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and punish the people," Cuomo said.

Shortly before he announced his resignation, his attorney, Rita Glavin, appeared to be clarifying his defense. "This is about the honesty and credibility of a report used to impeach and remove an elected official," Glavin said.

One of the women, Brittany Commisso, referred to in Attorney General Letitia James' investigation, told CBS This Morning and Albany Times Union that she believed Cuomo knew he broke the law and should be "responsible."

"There is a difference between being an affectionate and warm person," she said. "Sexual harassment is completely different." "The governor knows that what he did to me and what he did to these ten other women, whether it was a comment or actual physical contact, was sexual harassment. He broke the laws he set himself."

One of Cuomo's top advisers, Melissa DeRosa, resigned Sunday night.

James' report described an "unsafe" and "hostile" work environment in the governor's office. It also included testimony from Commisso, who said she was horrified by senior staff, including DeRosa, when they learned of her accusations.

"He was so firm with me that I couldn't show that picture to anyone else,  it would somehow happen," she said in the report. . "And if Stephanie Benton or Melissa [Derosa] heard that, I'd lose my job. Because I knew I'd be the one to go."

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