Vertiv Introduces New Single-Phase Uninterruptible Power Supply for Distributed Information Technology (IT) Networks and Edge Computing Applications in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)Read more Students from JA Zimbabwe Win 2023 De La Vega Global Entrepreneurship AwardRead more Top International Prospects to Travel to Salt Lake City for Seventh Annual Basketball Without Borders Global CampRead more Rise of the Robots as Saudi Arabia Underscores Global Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Aspirations with DeepFest Debut at LEAP23Read more Somalia: ‘I sold the last three goats, they were likely to die’Read more Merck Foundation and African First Ladies marking World Cancer Day 2023 through 110 scholarships of Oncology Fellowships in 25 countriesRead more Supporting women leaders and aspirants to unleash their potentialRead more Fake medicines kill almost 500,000 sub-Saharan Africans a year: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reportRead more Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports International Organization for Migration (IOM) over ‘life and death’ issueRead more United Nations (UN) Convenes Lake Chad Countries, Amid Growing Regional CrisisRead more

Defiant Cuomo blames ‘rush to judgment’ in farewell speech

show caption
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation following claims of sexual harassment./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Aug 24, 2021 - 11:09 AM

NEW YORK — Outgoing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he had been the victim of a “political firecracker” as he made a defiant farewell address on his last day in office Monday after resigning over sexual harassment allegations.

In a pre-recorded speech, the once-powerful Democrat insisted an inquiry that found he sexually harassed multiple women, including staffers, had been designed to force him to quit.

“There was a political and media stampede. But the truth will out in time. Of that, I am confident,” said Cuomo, who hands over the reins of America’s fourth-most populous state to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

Cuomo — son of three-term governor Mario Cuomo — led New York for a decade, first winning election in 2010.

He shot to international fame last spring when he was widely praised for comforting Americans with daily, straight-talking televised briefings about the coronavirus pandemic.

His performances, which came as then-president Donald Trump sowed confusion with incoherent messages about the health crisis, even led to clamor among some Democrats for a presidential run.

But Cuomo’s stock started to slide late last year as he became engulfed in accusations that he covered up the true extent of Covid-19 deaths at nursing homes.

Several women then came forward this year alleging that the 63-year-old had behaved inappropriately towards them.

The accusations culminated in an explosive report by state Attorney General Letitia James released earlier this month that said he sexually harassed 11 women, including by engaging in unwanted touching.

Cuomo strenuously denied the allegations and initially rejected calls to quit, including from President Joe Biden.

De Blasio parting shot 

But as an impeachment investigation by state lawmakers gathered steam, Cuomo announced on August 10 that he was resigning and would step down two weeks later.

In his goodbye address, he said a “rush to judgment” had caused a media “frenzy” that was not “right, fair, or sustainable.”

He also touted some of his achievements, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York in 2011 and an increase in the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour in December 2019.

“No governor in the nation has passed more progressive measures than I have,” he said.

Cuomo, who had coveted a fourth term to surpass his father, thanked voters for “the honor of serving” them.

“I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that every day I worked my hardest. I gave it my all and I tried my best to deliver for you. And that is the God’s honest truth,” he said.

Cuomo also couldn’t resist a final dig at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, with whom he repeatedly clashed.

He said de Blasio’s likely successor in elections in November, Eric Adams, would bring “a new philosophy and competence to the position” that would give Big Apple residents “hope for the future.”

Hochul, also a Democrat, will become New York’s first woman governor when she takes the oath of office in the state capital Albany in the first few minutes of Tuesday.

Cuomo said he believed she would “step up to the challenge” as he wished her success.

As speculation swirled about what Cuomo might do next, his top aide said he was “exploring a number of options, but has no interest in running for office again.”

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.