If Andrew Cuomo was in the private sector, he would be losing his job today.
But Cuomo is the governor of New York. So while New York Attorney General Letitia James today released a 165-page report concluding that Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women while in office — breaking state and federal laws along the way — it's unlikely he's going to leave office right away.
"Specifically, we find that the Governor sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women," the investigators reported. "We also conclude that the Executive Chamber's culture — one filled with fear and intimidation, while at the same time normalizing the Governor's frequent flirtations and gender-based comments — contributed to the conditions that allowed the sexual harassment to occur and persist."
Perhaps burned by the role Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) played in bringing about the resignation of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), some — though definitely not all — New York Democrats have taken a wait-and-see approach since the allegations against Cuomo began to emerge in December. While the State Assembly is still conducting its own investigation into the allegations, the time for fence-sitting is over.
Simply put: Cuomo has lost his ability to credibly lead the state of New York. It's not just the harassment allegations, as bad as they are. Don't forget that we learned earlier this year that his office rewrote official reports on the coronavirus pandemic to hide the staggering number of COVID-19 deaths that had happened in the state's nursing homes. Reflecting on an even lengthier list of the governor's scandals, my colleague Ryan Cooper in February called on Cuomo to resign.
That would be the best and most-honorable option, both for the governor and his state. At the moment, though, we don't have much evidence that Cuomo will act honorably. Which means it's now up to the Democrats who control the rest of New York state government to act — preferably as soon as possible.