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Governor Cuomo Resigned!?

I have written several articles on postings related to politicians. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on these politicians.

I expect it is known that I am not a big fan of Governor Cuomo. But I have to admit that I was caught off guard by his resignation. I did not think that his ego would allow for such an action. As part of my Randy’s Musings 3.0 posting, I included an article on Cuomo, entitled “What is going on with Governor Cuomo?” where I briefly discussed his career and where it is going. I also stated in the conclusion, that I would discuss more in depth his career and life when the dust settled. Little did I know it would settle so quickly.

While I covered some of his background in my previous article, I will discuss it in more depth now. I think his background is important, because I believe that it made him who he is.

I believe the best place to start is with a little Wikipedia information.

Andrew Mark Cuomo  born December 6, 1957) is an American lawyer, author, and politician who has served as the 56th governor of New York since 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected to the same position his father held for three terms.

Born in QueensNew York City, Cuomo is a graduate of Fordham University and Albany Law School. He began his career working as the campaign manager for his father in the 1982 New York gubernatorial election, then as an assistant district attorney in New York City before entering private law practice. He founded a housing non-profit and was appointed chair of the New York City Homeless Commission by New York City Mayor David Dinkins, a position he held from 1990 to 1993.

Cuomo served as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Community Planning and Development from 1993 to 1997. From 1997 to 2001, he served in President Bill Clinton‘s Cabinet as the 11th United States secretary of housing and urban development. After failing to win the Democratic primary in the 2002 New York gubernatorial election, in 2006, Cuomo was elected Attorney General of New York. Cuomo won the 2010 New York gubernatorial election to become governor of New York and was reelected twice after winning primaries against progressive challengers Zephyr Teachout in 2014 and Cynthia Nixon in 2018.

During his governorship, Cuomo oversaw the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in 2011 to legalize same-sex marriage, the Compassionate Care Act in 2014 to legalize the medical use of cannabis, and the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act in 2021 to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Cuomo’s administration oversaw the construction of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Second Avenue Subway, the Moynihan Train Hall, and a reconstruction of LaGuardia Airport. In response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the 2012 Webster shooting, Cuomo signed the NY SAFE Act of 2013, the strictest gun control law in the United States. He co-founded the United States Climate Alliance, a group of states committed to fighting climate change by following the terms of the Paris Agreement. He also delivered Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act; a 2011 tax code that raised taxes for the wealthy and lowered taxes for the middle class; 12-week paid family leave along with a gradual increase of the state’s minimum wage to $15; and pay equity.

Cuomo received national attention for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York. Although he was initially lauded for his response efforts and received the International Emmy Founders Award for his daily press briefings, he faces renewed criticism and federal investigation after it was discovered that his administration covered up information pertaining to COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents. Since late 2020, Cuomo has faced allegations of sexual harassment. An investigation commissioned by New York Attorney General Letitia James reported in August 2021 that Cuomo sexually harassed eleven women during his time in office, and Cuomo faces criminal investigations for these allegations. On August 10, 2021, he announced that he would resign as governor of New York, effective on August 24. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will serve out his term, becoming the first female governor of New York.

Early life and education

Cuomo was born in the borough of Queens in New York City to lawyer and later governor of New York Mario Cuomo and Matilda. His parents were both of Italian descent; his paternal grandparents were from Nocera Inferiore and Tramonti in the Campania region of southern Italy, while his maternal grandparents were from Sicily (his grandfather from Messina). He has four siblings; his younger brother, Chris Cuomo, is a CNN journalist, and his elder sister is noted radiologist Margaret Cuomo. Cuomo graduated from St. Gerard Majella’s School in 1971 and Archbishop Molloy High School in 1975. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Fordham University in 1979 and a Juris Doctor from Albany Law School in 1982.

Early career

During his father’s successful 1982 campaign for governor, Cuomo served as campaign manager. He then joined the governor’s staff as a policy advisor and sometime Albany roommate, earning $1 a year. As a member of his father’s administration, Cuomo was known as the “enforcer” where his father was known as the “nice guy” in a good cop/bad cop dynamic to further advance his father’s legislative agenda.

From 1984 to 1985, Cuomo was a New York assistant district attorney and briefly worked at the law firm of Blutrich, Falcone & Miller. He founded Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged (HELP) in 1986 and left his law firm to run HELP full time in 1988. From 1990 to 1993, during the administration of New York City mayor David Dinkins, Cuomo was chair of the New York City Homeless Commission, which was responsible for developing policies to address homelessness in the city and providing more housing options.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Cuomo as HUD Secretary

Cuomo was appointed Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1993, a member of President Bill Clinton‘s administration. After the departure of Secretary Henry Cisneros at the end of Clinton’s first term under the cloud of an FBI investigation, Cuomo was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to succeed him as Secretary of HUD. Cuomo served as Secretary from January 1997 until the Clinton administration ended in 2001. Cuomo with Elijah Cummings and Paul Sarbanes in 1998

In 2000, Cuomo led HUD efforts to negotiate an agreement with United States handgun manufacturer Smith & Wesson. This agreement required Smith & Wesson to change the design, distribution, and marketing of guns to make them safer and to help keep them out of the hands of children and criminals. Budgets enacted during Cuomo’s term contained initiatives to increase the supply of affordable housing and home ownership and to create jobs and economic development. These included new rental assistance subsidies, reforms to integrate public housing, higher limits on mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a crackdown on housing discrimination, expanded programs to help homeless people get housing and jobs, and creation of new empowerment zones. Cuomo as HUD Secretary holding a press conference with then Treasury Secretary Larry Summers in June 2000

During Cuomo’s tenure as HUD Secretary, he called for an increase in home ownership. He also pushed government-sponsored lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy more home loans issued to poor homeowners in an attempt to end discrimination against minorities. Some believe that this helped lead to the 2007–2010 subprime mortgage crisis. Edward J. Pinto, former chief credit officer at Fannie Mae, said: “They should have known the risks were large.” Pinto said, “Cuomo was pushing mortgage bankers to make loans and basically saying you have to offer a loan to everybody.” But others disagree with the assessment that Cuomo caused the crisis. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said Cuomo “was a contributor in terms of him being a cheerleader, but I don’t think we can pin too much blame on him”.

According to libertarian author and critic James Bovard, Cuomo was obsessed with changing HUD’s image, as Cuomo declared, “The PR is the important thing I do… Eighty percent of the battle is communications.” He championed a new program called Community Builders, created without appropriation by Congress, for 800 new HUD employees with computers to be paid as much as $100,000. In a June 16, 1999, speech, Cuomo declared that one purpose of the program was to fight against HUD’s abolition. In August 1999, Community Builders distributed a letter to community groups to fight against proposed tax cuts. One HUD official declared that Community Builders was seen as “Democratic ward heelers who act as a pipeline between Democratic city officials, party leaders, and the administration and the Democratic National Committee.”

In 1998, Clinton-appointed HUD inspector general Susan Gaffney testified to a Senate committee that she was the victim of “‘escalating’ attacks on her office by Cuomo and ‘his key aides,’ including cooked-up charges of racism, insubordination, malfeasance, and general dirty-dealing”. In 1999, Gaffney’s office concluded that “most (15 out of 19) Community Builders’ goals were activities rather than actual accomplishments” and that Cuomo’s initiatives “had a crippling effect on many of HUD’s ongoing operations”. Gaffney retired in May 2001, shortly after the department reached a $490,000 settlement with a black employee who had accused her of racial discrimination in passing him over for a promotion.

Prior to Cuomo’s tenure, HUD was routinely included on the General Accounting Office’s biannual watch list of government programs whose poor management made them prone to fraud. During his time in office, two of HUD’s four main departments were removed from the GAO list. In addition, the department cut 15 percent of its staff as part of a Cuomo initiative to streamline its operations.

2002 New York gubernatorial election

Cuomo first ran for the Democratic nomination for the New York governor seat in 2002. He was initially the favorite for the nomination and led in fundraising and polls, but his campaign took serious damage after a gaffe. Speaking about the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, Cuomo said, “Pataki stood behind the leader. He held the leader’s coat. He was a great assistant to the leader. But he was not a leader. Cream rises to the top, and Rudy Giuliani rose to the top.” His remarks were widely derided; even his father, former governor Mario Cuomo, later admitted it was a blunder.

On the eve of the state convention, Cuomo withdrew from consideration after concluding that he had little chance of support against the favored party candidate, State Comptroller Carl McCall.[41] McCall went on to lose the general election to incumbent George Pataki.

New York attorney general


Cuomo declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for New York State attorney general in 2006 and on May 30, 2006, captured the Democratic Party’s endorsement, receiving 65% of the delegates. Though Cuomo won the endorsement, former New York City public advocate Mark J. Green and two-time candidate for Lieutenant Governor Charlie King also earned places on the Democratic ballot. King dropped out of the race before the primary and endorsed Cuomo.

Cuomo won the primary with a majority of the vote, defeating his nearest opponent by over 20%. Clinching the Democratic party nomination was considered a significant rebound following his unsuccessful and unpopular 2002 gubernatorial campaign, and at the nominating convention June O’Neill, the Democratic chairwoman of St. Lawrence County, called him “New York’s own Comeback Kid”. In the general election on November 7, 2006, he defeated the Republican nominee, former Westchester district attorney Jeanine Pirro, winning 58% of the vote.


Police surveillance, 2007

On July 23, 2007, Cuomo’s office admonished the Spitzer administration for ordering the New York State Police to keep special records of then Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno‘s whereabouts when he traveled with police escorts in New York City. At the discretion of top officials of the Spitzer administration, the created documents meant to cause political damage to Bruno. Spitzer responded by accepting responsibility and issuing an apology to Bruno.

Student loan inquiry, 2007

In 2007, Cuomo was active in a high-profile investigation into lending practices and anti-competitive relationships between student lenders and universities. Specifically, many universities steered student borrowers to a “preferred lender,” which resulted in the borrowers’ incurring higher interest rates. This led to changes in lending policy at many major American universities. Many universities also rebated millions of dollars in fees to affected borrowers. Cuomo with Representative Gary Ackerman in October 2008.

Usenet, 2008

On June 10, 2008, Cuomo announced that three major Internet service providers (Verizon CommunicationsTime Warner Cable, and Sprint) would “shut down major sources of online child pornography” by no longer hosting many Usenet groups. Time Warner Cable ceased offering Usenet altogether, Sprint ended access to the 18,408 newsgroups in the alt.* hierarchy, and Verizon limited its Usenet offerings to the approximately 3,000 Big 8 newsgroups. The move came after Cuomo’s office located 88 different newsgroups to which child pornography had been posted.

2008 Obama remarks

In 2008, Cuomo said of the Democratic Party candidate Barack Obama, who was running against Hillary Clinton, the candidate Cuomo supported: “You can’t shuck and jive at a press conference.” Cuomo received criticism from some for his use of the phrase. Roland Martin of CNN said that “shuckin’ and jivin’ have long been words used as a negative assessment of African Americans, along the lines of a ‘foot-shufflin’ Negro.”

Corruption and fraud investigations, 2009

Cuomo investigated a corruption scandal, a “fraudulent scheme to extract kickbacks,” which involved New York investigators, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and attorneys general in dozens of states.

Also in 2009, Cuomo launched a suit against the United Homeless Organization, a New York charity. He charged that the majority of the group’s income was not used to provide services to the homeless but was diverted to the founders for unrelated personal expenses. In 2010, Judge Barbara R. Kapnick granted the judgement and forced the group to disband.

After Hillary Clinton became President Obama’s choice for U.S. Secretary of State, then New York governor David Paterson was charged with appointing a temporary replacement until a special election. Cuomo was seen as a leading contender for this appointment. Caroline Kennedy (who is a first cousin of Cuomo’s ex-wife) was another leading contender, but withdrew for personal reasons two days before Paterson was set to announce his choice, leaving Cuomo and U.S. representative Kirsten Gillibrand as the most likely appointees. On January 23, Paterson announced he would appoint Gillibrand to the U.S. Senate.

Gubernatorial elections


On September 18, 2009, advisors to President Barack Obama informed Governor David Paterson that the president believed he should withdraw his 2010 gubernatorial candidacy, stepping aside for “popular Attorney General Andrew Cuomo”. On January 23, 2010, the New York Daily News reported that Cuomo would announce plans for a gubernatorial campaign at the end of March. Later reports indicated Cuomo would announce his gubernatorial campaign coinciding with the state Democratic Convention in late May. On May 22, 2010, Cuomo announced his run for governor in a video posted to his campaign website. Cuomo announced his choice for lieutenant governor on May 26, 2010: Robert Duffy, Mayor of Rochester.

In the November 2, 2010, general election, Cuomo faced Republican Carl Paladino, a Buffalo-based businessman who had been heavily supported by the Tea Party movement. Cuomo won the election for governor by a landslide, winning 62.6% of the vote. Paladino performed strongly in his native Buffalo area, while Cuomo performed well in the eastern part of the state as well as downstate.

In addition to the parties fielding candidates, New York’s electoral fusion laws allow parties to cross-endorse candidates. The Independence Party and Working Families Party cross-endorsed Andrew Cuomo, while the Conservative Party and Taxpayers Party cross-endorsed Carl Paladino. The Independence Party line received 146,648 votes (5.0% of Cuomo’s total, and 3.2% of the statewide total) and the Working Families line received 154,853 votes (5.3% and 3.4%), with the Democratic line receiving the remaining 2,610,220 votes (89.6% and 56.5%). The Conservative line received 232,281 votes (15.0% of Paladino’s total, and 5.0% of the statewide total) and the Taxpayers line received 25,821 votes (1.5% and 0.6%), with the Republican line receiving the remaining 1,290,082 votes (83.3% and 27.1%).


Cuomo sought reelection in 2014, with former U.S. Representative Kathy Hochul as his new running mate. On March 5, 2014, Westchester County executive Rob Astorino announced that he would run on the Republican ticket against Cuomo for governor. Law professors Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu challenged the Cuomo–Hochul ticket in the Democratic primary election – capturing 34% of the vote on the gubernatorial line (Wu drew 40.1% as lieutenant governor). On November 4, 2014, Cuomo was reelected for a second term with 54% of the vote, while Astorino received 40.6% of the vote.

Despite low voter turnout, Cuomo won the general election by a comfortable margin; however, his margin of victory was smaller than it had been in his 2010 victory. Astorino won most of upstate New York but was overwhelmed in New York City. Cuomo was sworn in for his second term as governor.


Cuomo was challenged in the primary from the left by actress and activist Cynthia Nixon. She criticized him for having failed to fix the New York City Subway following his declaration of the 2017 New York City transit crisis as well as for not protecting undocumented immigrants, not legalizing recreational marijuana, and not creating a single-payer healthcare system. When debating Nixon, Cuomo countered her argument on the subways by pointing out that the system is owned by New York City, though past administrations agree it is the governor’s role. An analysis conducted by New York City comptroller Scott Stringer revealed that New York City pays for 70 percent of subway repair costs.

Cuomo defeated Nixon, 65.5–34.5%.

On November 6, 2018, the Cuomo-Hochul ticket defeated the Molinaro-Killian ticket by a margin of 59.6% to 36.2%.

On March 19, 2021, The New York Times, in an episode of their podcast The Daily, leaked audio of Cuomo threatening Bill Lipton, head of the Working Families Party, which had endorsed primary opponent Nixon, that “if you ever say, ‘Well he’s better than a Republican’ again, then I’m gonna say, ‘You’re better than a child rapist.'”


In May 2019, Governor Cuomo announced he would run for a fourth term. In August 2021, after a report released by the Attorney General of New YorkLetitia James, detailed accusations of sexual assault by Governor Cuomo and his attempts to silence victims, the New York State Legislature‘s leaders indicated that they would seek to remove Cuomo from office. In the face of almost certain removal from office, he announced his resignation as Governor, effective August 24, 2021.  Although there has been no formal withdrawal, individuals close to Cuomo have indicated he will likely not seek his party’s nomination following his resignation.

Governor of New York

Cuomo took the gubernatorial oath of office at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2011, succeeding David Paterson. During his first year as governor, Cuomo worked to pass an on-time budget that cut spending without raising taxes, made a new deal with a large state-employee union, signed ethics reform legislation, passed a property tax cap, worked to enact a same-sex marriage bill with bipartisan support, and restructured New York’s tax code. In 2014, Politico reported that Cuomo had been actively involved in the formation of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) three years earlier, which gave control of the state senate to Republicans. He has been accused of failing to bridge the rift between the IDC and the Democratic caucus in the Senate. With former US President Bill Clinton (center left) in 2012

There was media speculation about a possible presidential run, either in 2016 or 2020. Several reports indicated that Cuomo supported the Independent Democratic Conference until its dissolution and defeat in 2018 in part to appear more moderate for an eventual presidential bid.

For his 2018 re-election bid, Cuomo accepted being on top of the ballot line for the Independence Party, a list that featured numerous Republicans, including ardent Trump supporters.

In an August 15, 2018, anti-sex trafficking bill-signing event, Cuomo said: “We’re not gonna make America great again. It was never that great. We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged.” The assembled audience of Cuomo’s supporters booed.

In a February 2019 opinion poll, Cuomo’s approval rating dropped to 43 percent, the lowest of his tenure as governor, and a full 50% said they disapproved. The poll showed an eight percent drop from January 2019; it was taken after Cuomo signed several pieces of progressive legislation, including an expansion of abortion rights and access and stricter gun laws, suggesting that the legislation may have upset certain voters and contributed to the drop; however, the majority of voters agreed with his position on both issues. By early 2020, Cuomo’s favorability rating was up to 77 percent, a record high.

Appointee donations controversy

On his first day in office, Cuomo renewed an executive order signed by Eliot Spitzer which prohibited Governors of New York from receiving donations from gubernatorial appointees. A February 2018 investigation by The New York Times, however, revealed that the Cuomo administration had quietly reinterpreted the order, and that Cuomo had collected $890,000 from 24 of his appointees, as well as $1.3 million from the spouses, children and businesses of appointees. Some donations were made to Cuomo just days after the donor was appointed.

In March 2018, The New York Times reported that Cuomo had rewritten the disclaimer language on his campaign website for the executive order barring donations from appointees. The website added two caveats whereby some gubernatorial appointees are allowed to donate to the governor, which The Times said could potentially lead to more donations from appointees to the governor. The Cuomo campaign returned a $2,500 donation from one appointee who was in violation of the new disclaimer, but still retains the approximately $890,000 raised from other appointees.

Corporate incentives

Cuomo has supported providing tax and other incentives to attract business to locate in New York State. He even joked in 2018 that he would be willing to change his name to “Amazon Cuomo” if Amazon located their “Amazon HQ2” in the state. His strong support for New York City’s bid to become the home of Amazon’s HQ2 faced criticism based on arguments that the costs to the state outweighed the possible benefits. Amazon decided on two “major corporate outposts,” in New York City and Arlington, Virginia, instead of a single second headquarters, before bowing out of the former under local pressure.

COVID-19 pandemic response

Main article: COVID-19 pandemic in New York (state)Cuomo meeting with PresidentJoe BidenVice PresidentKamala Harris, and a bipartisan group of governors and mayors in 2021

On March 1, 2020, Cuomo issued a statement regarding novel coronavirus in New York wherein he mentioned the first positive case of novel coronavirus in New York State. On March 2, 2020, Cuomo said that community transmission of the new coronavirus is “inevitable”. He also mentioned New York City’s plans to aggressively ramp up diagnostic testing for the new virus and said that he would like to see New York City conducting “1,000 tests per day”. He announced the “world-renowned” Wadsworth Center was partnering with hospitals to expand surge testing capacity to “1,000 tests per day statewide” for the novel coronavirus. On March 3, 2020, Cuomo signed a $40 million emergency management authorization for coronavirus response and claimed that “New York’s overall risk remained low”. He also announced the institution of a new cleaning protocol at schools and in the public transportation system “to help stop any potential spread of the virus”. On March 4, 2020, Cuomo confirmed nine new cases in the state and said that it was “literally like trying to stop air” and reaffirming that it was inevitable that it would continue to spread.

On March 6, 2020, Cuomo criticized the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, calling it “absurd and nonsensical”.

Early in the coronavirus response efforts, Cuomo received widespread praise from epidemiologists for his handling of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic in New York State, which included a statewide lockdown and a shutdown of nonessential businesses in an effort to help flatten the curve of the virus. Like many other national leaders, however, Cuomo also received criticism for failing to grasp the gravity of the pandemic before its risks were fully visible to the American public.

On March 28, 2020, Cuomo threatened Rhode Island with a lawsuit over a new state quarantine policy of stopping incoming New Yorkers to enforce quarantine.

In the spring of 2020, social media posters and television hosts such as Stephen ColbertTrevor Noah, and Ellen DeGeneres came up with the term “Cuomosexuals” to express admiration and love for the governor and his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, related to their leadership roles during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In October 2020, Cuomo wrote a book, American Crisis, proclaiming victory against the pandemic due to his leadership. He wrote that New York “confronted and defeated” the virus. By February 2021, New York had the highest per capita hospitalization rate in the country. Cuomo was paid more than $5 million dollars to write the book.

In November 2020, Cuomo received the International Emmy Founders Award from the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his daily coronavirus briefings.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in his state, nine state health officials resigned, reportedly in response to Cuomo’s policies. In a press conference on January 29, 2021, Cuomo stated that he did not trust the expertise of health officials.

In June 2021, Cuomo lifted COVID-19 restrictions, following the news that 70% of adults have had one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Criminal justice

In August 2017, the Cuomo administration awarded more than $7 million, financed with money from large bank settlements, in grants to New York colleges to offer courses to New York prisoners. In January 2018, Cuomo proposed reforms that would “reduce delays during trials, ban asset seizures in cases where there has been no conviction and make it easier for former convicts to get a job after leaving prison”. He also called for an end to cash bail for minor crimes. Under Cuomo’s tenure, he granted commutations to fewer prisoners than many previous Republican and Democratic New York governors. Cuomo commuted a total of nine sentences. Cuomo pardoned 140 adults who were convicted of nonviolent felonies as 16- and 17-year-olds, but had served their sentences. He pardoned 18 others who had served their sentences for nonviolent felonies but were exposed to deportation due to their criminal record. Cuomo leading the 2018 New York City March For Our Lives rally


In 2017, Cuomo announced that the Indian Points nuclear plant, which produced one quarter of New York City’s power, would be phased out. As a result of the phaseout, the carbon-free power generated by the plant was replaced by power generated by carbon-generating fossil fuels. As a consequence, New York was estimated to struggle to meet its climate goals.

Gun control

On January 15, 2013, Cuomo signed into law the first state gun control bill to pass after the December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in neighboring Connecticut. The NY SAFE Act was described as the toughest gun control law in the United States. The act came under criticism, and the National Rifle Association called it draconian. The New York State Sheriffs’ Association issued a statement supporting tougher penalties for illegal use of firearms but criticizing several aspects of the legislation, including a magazine limit of seven rounds and a “too broad” definition of assault weapons.

On July 5, 2013, Cuomo signed an amendment to the NY SAFE Act that exempts retired police officers from some of the act’s ownership restrictions.

On 7 July 2021, Cuomo declared the first ‘disaster emergency’ in the United States on gun crime for New York.

Hurricane Sandy

After Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, Cuomo allowed New York voters, via a specific provision aimed at accommodating those displaced, to cast provisional ballots for the 2012 election anywhere in the state. He also appointed a commission to examine the responses of New York utilities to damage caused by the storm.

Controversy ensued when the Cuomo administration used $140 million, including $40 million of federal disaster relief funds, to pay for the broadcast of national TV ads promoting “New New York” slogans outside New York in an attempt to attract new business investment to the state. Many have been critical of the effort, including former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who called the ads “fluff” and “a waste of taxpayer money”.

Hydraulic fracturing

In June 2012, the Cuomo administration said it was considering lifting a state ban on the practice of hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”) to stimulate the economy in upstate New York. But critics said that fracking upstate could contaminate the water supply of New York City, New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania. Following a long-awaited study started years earlier, New York State health officials cited “significant public health risks” associated with fracking, and on December 17, 2014, the Cuomo administration announced a ban on hydraulic fracturing in New York State.


In solidarity with Israel, Cuomo announced an executive order against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Cuomo tweeted: “If you boycott Israel, New York State will boycott you.”

Marijuana legalization

In January 2014, Cuomo announced an executive order to allow the limited use of medical marijuana in New York. Later that year, a comprehensive bill to legalize medical cannabis was passed by the state legislature, containing some restrictions at Cuomo’s insistence such as a ban on consumption by smoking. On July 5, 2014, the Compassionate Care Act was signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

In December 2018, Cuomo announced his support for legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, after previously stating his opposition and calling it a “gateway drug” as recently as February 2017. On March 31, 2021, recreational use of cannabis was officially legalized with the signing into law of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.

New York City Subway

In June 2017, after a series of subway disasters, Cuomo declared a “state of emergency” for the New York City Subway system. According to The New York Times, a series of New York City mayors and New York governors, including Cuomo, were partly at fault for the worsening quality of the subway system and inflated construction costs. Under the Cuomo administration, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority repeatedly diverted tax revenues earmarked for the subways, paid for services that there was no need for and spent on subway projects that did not boost service or reliability. As a result, the MTA was saddled with debt and could not undertake investments into overhauling outdated and inefficient subway infrastructure. Cuomo also directed the MTA to spend on projects that the heads of the MTA did not consider to be priorities. One reason why the New York City subway system is so expensive is due to exorbitant labor costs; according to several M.T.A. officials who were involved in negotiating labor contracts, Cuomo pressured the MTA to accept labor union contracts that were extremely favorable to workers. The New York Times noted that Cuomo was closely aligned with the union in question and had received $165,000 in campaign contributions from it.

The New York Times reported, “Cuomo had steered clear of the M.T.A. during his first years in office, but in his second term he took an intense interest. He placed aides within the organization and, in an unusual move, made some report directly to him. He badgered transit leaders about the construction of the Second Avenue subway on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. And over the objections of some board members, he canceled several M.T.A. capital projects to make room for his own priorities. According to high-ranking current and former M.T.A. officials, the moves interfered with the authority’s plans to address the rising delays.”

Public college and university tuition

On April 18, 2017, Cuomo signed the New York State 2018 fiscal year budget. It included the Excelsior Scholarship, a provision that families making less than $125,000 in 2019 could have free tuition at all SUNY and CUNY universities, though some education experts including Sara Goldrick-Rab say it won’t help the poorest students and that the requirement that recipients live and work in New York after graduating is counter-productive.

Public employees

On July 16, 2011, Cuomo finalized a five-year deal with the Public Employees Federation to end pay raises, implement furlough days, and require additional contributions to health insurance accounts. In an interview with The New York Times, he stated his top goal in 2012 is the reduction of public employee pensions.

Public housing

In the winter of 2018, Cuomo responded to a class-action lawsuit brought against the New York City Housing Authority by attorney Jim Walden on behalf of a group of public housing tenants. The suit was the first of its kind and called upon NYCHA to immediately address decrepit and unhealthy conditions in public housing units across New York City. At the invitation of Walden, Cuomo toured a public housing project in March. By early April, Cuomo appointed an independent monitor to oversee NYCHA on an emergency basis. The move broadened the ever-widening rift between NYC mayor Bill de Blasio and Cuomo.

Remarks about right-wing conservatives

In a January 17, 2014, interview with Susan Arbetter on WCNY‘s The Capital Pressroom, Cuomo stated:

[New York Republicans] are searching to define their soul, that’s what’s going on. Is the Republican party in this state a moderate party or is it an extreme conservative party? … The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE Act – it was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate! Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are. If they’re moderate Republicans like in the Senate right now, who control the Senate – moderate Republicans have a place in their state. George Pataki was governor of this state as a moderate Republican, but not what you’re hearing from them on the far right.

This remark received a major reaction in the conservative media. Radio host Glenn Beck wrote a letter to the governor regarding the remarks from the interview. Fox News contributor and radio/TV show host Sean Hannity threatened to move out of the state with all of his assets if Cuomo did not apologize for his remarks. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, said during a radio broadcast that Cuomo’s remarks were “most unfortunate at best. Are there pro-lifers who are extremist? Yes, there are. But I think they are a distinct minority.”

The New York State Democratic Committee, which is headed by Cuomo, supported his remarks and reiterated them in a May 2014 statement responding to a speech by Rob Astorino, who was running against him in the 2014 gubernatorial election: “Tea Party Republicans have done enough damage in Washington, today’s speech made it abundantly clear that we don’t need them here in New York.”

Same-sex marriage

In keeping with a campaign promise, Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act, introducing same-sex marriage, on June 24, 2011, following an “intense public and private lobbying campaign”, and later called for all states to do the same. Cuomo was lauded for his efforts to pass same-sex marriage legislation. One prominent advocate stated that “for gay Americans, Mr. Cuomo was “the only national politician with hero status”. Following the passage of the Act, Cuomo was criticized for describing the viewpoints of opponents as “anti-American”. On July 25, 2011, a lawsuit was filed in the New York Supreme Court seeking an injunction against the Act, alleging corruption and violations of the law in the process of passing the bill. The trial court initially held that the plaintiffs’ case could proceed, but the decision was reversed on appeal.


In July 2016, the Empire State Development Corporation, a state agency, released a report indicating that the state’s flagship business tax incentive program, called START-UP NY, had generated 408 jobs since its inception in 2014. Ads promoting the program have cost at least $53 million. The START-UP NY annual report was delayed three months in 2016, leading some lawmakers, such as Assemblyman Schimminger, to call the delays “curious”.


Cuomo was praised for his 2011 restructuring of the New York State tax code. He was also criticized for including tax increases for high earners, and for allegedly requesting a unanimous Assembly vote in favor of the proposal and threatening to campaign against Assembly members who voted “no” – a charge he denied. Cuomo also received criticism from voices on the left who felt that the tax reform was insufficient.

Voting rights

In April 2018, Cuomo announced that he would restore the voting rights of parolees through an executive order. He said that he would consider restoring the voting rights of all parolees (more than 35,000), and would also enfranchise new parolees throughout his term.

Women’s issues and abortion

In 2013, Cuomo called for the passage of a Women’s Equality Act. The Women’s Equality Act included 10 component bills affecting issues such as domestic violence, human trafficking, and pregnancy discrimination. The tenth bill of the Women’s Equality Act was the Reproductive Health Act, which would have “enshrine[d] in state law existing federal protections for abortion rights,” “shifted the state’s abortion law from the criminal code to the health care laws,” and “[made] it clearer that licensed health care practitioners as well as physicians could perform abortions”. During his 2013 State of the State address, Cuomo said, “Enact a Reproductive Health Act because it is her body, it is her choice. Because it’s her body, it’s her choice. Because it’s her body, it’s her choice.” The New York State Assembly passed the Women’s Equality Act on June 20, 2013. The Republican leadership of the New York State Senate expressed support for the nine non-abortion-related planks of the Women’s Equality Act, but objected to the Reproductive Health Act and expressed unwillingness to allow a vote on it.

On the final day of the 2013 legislative session, following the Senate Republican Conference’s continued refusal to vote on the full Women’s Equality Act, Senator Jeff Klein, leader of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), offered the abortion plank of the Act as a hostile amendment to another bill. The amendment was defeated by a narrow margin of 32–31; all 30 Senate Republicans voted against the abortion amendment, as did Democratic Sens. Ruben Diaz and Simcha Felder. The Senate proceeded to pass the nine non-abortion-related planks of the Women’s Equality Act as separate bills, and the 2013 legislative session came to an end without any portion of the WEA becoming law.

“[After] the 2014 election season was over, with Cuomo victorious, the governor and his lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul both declared the abortion plank of the act officially dormant, if not dead.” In 2015, the non-abortion-related Women’s Equality Act bills passed both houses of the State Legislature. In October 2015, Cuomo signed eight of the 10 Women’s Equality Act bills into law; the abortion rights bill was not among them.

On January 22, 2019, Cuomo signed the 2019 version of the Reproductive Health Act, which passed days after Democrats took control of the state Senate. Cuomo ordered One World Trade Center and other landmarks to be lit in pink to celebrate the bill’s passage. Cuomo’s signing and the lighting of the World Trade Center building sparked intense criticism from conservatives. The Catholic cardinal Timothy Dolan criticized Cuomo over the Reproductive Health Act.


Official corruption

In July 2014, it was reported that the Moreland Commission, a committee established by Cuomo to root out corruption in politics, was directed away from investigations that could be politically damaging.[206] Cuomo later disbanded the commission. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan launched an inquiry into Cuomo’s dealings with the anti-corruption panel and concluded that “after a thorough investigation,” there was “insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime”.

In September 2016, Joseph Percoco, a close friend and former top aide to Cuomo, was indicted as part of a bribery investigation into the Buffalo Billion. He had worked for Cuomo in both Washington and Albany and had managed his 2010 and 2014 gubernatorial campaigns and has been described as “the governor’s enforcer and a member of his inner circle”. Cuomo had previously referred to him as a brother, and as Mario Cuomo’s “third son”. Todd Howe, a lobbyist and former Cuomo aide, was also indicted, along with several developers who were major donors to Cuomo and other state politicians. Cuomo was not accused of wrongdoing.

In March 2018, a federal jury in Manhattan convicted Percoco on felony charges of solicitation of bribes and honest services fraud for over $315,000 in bribes he took from two people seeking official favors on behalf of an energy company, Competitive Power Ventures Inc. Prosecutors described him as Cuomo’s “right-hand man”. Following Percoco’s conviction, Cuomo released a statement declaring that he would respect the jury’s verdict and that “there is no tolerance for any violation of the public trust”. In September 2018, Judge Valerie Caproni sentenced Percoco to 6 years in jail saying “I hope that this sentence will be heard in Albany. I hope it will serve as a warning to others in public service.”

In March 2021, allegations came out that Cuomo prioritized COVID-19 tests for his family and other associates during the early stages of the pandemic when tests were limited. Particular scrutiny went to the positive test of his brother Chris in March 2020 amid other conflicts of interest that commentators saw in their relationship. These reports are currently being investigated by his impeachment probe.

COVID-19 nursing home deaths

On March 25, 2020, Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health issued an advisory requiring the admission of patients to nursing homes who test positive for the coronavirus and barred testing prospective nursing home patients. This order was revoked on May 10 after widespread criticism from medical experts. By then, as many as 4,500 COVID-19 infected patients had been sent to nursing homes in NY state. Over 6,000 New York state nursing home residents had died of COVID-19 as of June 2020.

In July 2020, the New York State Department of Health released a report that found: “Peak nursing home admissions occurred a week after peak nursing home mortality, therefore illustrating that nursing home admissions from hospitals were not a driver of nursing home infections or fatalities”; instead the department concluded that asymptomatic nursing home staff drove the infections. Cuomo reacted to this report by stating that attribution of nursing home deaths to his March 2020 policy had “no basis in fact”. On January 28, 2021, an investigation conducted by state attorney general Letitia James concluded that the Cuomo administration undercounted COVID-19-related deaths at nursing homes by as much as 50%. On February 12, 2021, Melissa DeRosa, a top aide to Cuomo, said in a call with state Democratic leaders that the Cuomo administration intentionally delayed the release of data pertaining to deaths from COVID-19 within nursing homes in fear it would’ve triggered a potential federal investigation by the Department of Justice and given an advantage to political opponents. Calls to rescind Cuomo’s emergency powers granted amidst the pandemic were launched within the New York State Senate immediately following this report, with 14 Democrats joining the Republican minority in the effort.

On February 17, 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn announced they were investigating the incident.

On March 19, 2021, the FBI reported that an investigation was underway on Governor Andrew Cuomo for improperly using the power of his office to shield nursing home executive political donors from COVID-19 lawsuits.

Sexual harassment allegations and resignation

On December 13, 2020, Lindsey Boylan, a former aide for Cuomo who was a Democratic candidate for Manhattan Borough president in 2021, alleged “[Cuomo] sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched.” Boylan further alleged that Cuomo “exists without ethics”, “takes advantage of people, including me” and ran a “toxic team environment”. A spokesperson for the Cuomo administration denied the accusation. Boylan further elaborated on her accusations in February 2021, claiming Cuomo goaded her to play strip poker with him while on a flight in 2017 and forcibly kissed her on the mouth in his Manhattan office. The governor’s office said Boylan’s claims were false. On February 27, 2021, Charlotte Bennett, an executive assistant and health policy advisor of Cuomo, also accused him of sexual harassment, saying that he asked her about her sex life on several occasions in late Spring 2020 and if she had been in sexual relationships with older men. She also suggested that Cuomo was open to relationships with women “above the age of 22”. In a statement on February 27, Cuomo denied making advances to Bennett and acting inappropriately towards her.

In a February 28 statement, Cuomo said: “I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended.” He apologized and acknowledged “some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.” He also said, “At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”

The two U.S. Senators for New York, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats, called for an independent investigation. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a CNN interview that President Joe Biden supported an independent investigation into Governor Cuomo’s conduct.

On March 1, a third woman came forward alleging Cuomo had sexually harassed her and touched her without consent on her bare lower back. Anna Ruch was not on the governor’s staff, but encountered him socially at a wedding reception in September 2019. The Attorney General of New York state, Letitia James, was reported to be investigating options for an independent investigation. When reporting the allegation, The New York Times also published a photograph from the event which showed Cuomo putting his hands on Ruch’s face. She said the incident made her feel “uncomfortable and embarrassed”.

A fourth woman, Ana Liss, came forward on March 6 and alleged Cuomo touched her inappropriately on her lower back and kissed her hand. That same day, Karen Hinton, a former consultant of Cuomo when he was leading the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, alleged that in 2000 he had asked personal questions and inappropriately hugged her in his hotel room.

On March 1, 2021, Cuomo’s senior counsel and special adviser Beth Garvey instructed New York Attorney General Letitia James to proceed with an independent investigation of Cuomo. On March 8, James hired attorneys from two law firms to conduct an independent investigation of Cuomo.

On March 9, a sixth woman alleged that Cuomo inappropriately touched her at the governor’s mansion. On April 7, the unnamed aide said that after she had been summoned to governor’s mansion in November 2020, Cuomo allegedly rose from his desk and began groping her. After the aide told him it would get him in trouble, Cuomo then shut the door and said “I don’t care.” He then returned and groped one of her breasts under her bra by reaching under her blouse. A month later she claimed that Cuomo told her to cover-up what had occurred. On August 8, she revealed her identity: Brittany Commisso.

On March 11, 2021, the New York Assembly approved a separate impeachment investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations made against Cuomo.

On March 12, Kaitlin (last name unreported), who formerly worked for the governor’s office, alleged that Cuomo had made her feel uncomfortable in various situations, with his comments, questions, requests, and invasions of her personal space. She did not allege inappropriate touching or explicit sexual propositions. Also on March 12, journalist Jessica Bakeman alleged that Cuomo had sexually harassed her by touching her and making inappropriate comments. She wrote: “I never thought the governor wanted to have sex with me. It wasn’t about sex. It was about power. He wanted me to know that I was powerless”.

On March 18, another journalist, Valerie Bauman, came forward. She said that Cuomo had made her feel uncomfortable, describing him staring at her, entering her personal space, offering her a job, and asking personal questions. Bauman also stated that Cuomo “never touched [her] inappropriately or said anything that [she] felt [she] could report to [her] boss”. On March 19, Alyssa McGrath, who was still working for Cuomo’s office at the time, accused Cuomo of sexually harassing her by ogling her and making inappropriate comments. McGrath did not accuse Cuomo of inappropriate sexual contact. On March 29, Sherry Vill, a New York constituent whose flood-damaged house Cuomo had visited in May 2017, alleged that Cuomo had inappropriately kissed her twice during that visit.

The state-commissioned attorneys’ five-month investigation released its report on August 3, 2021. This report concluded that during Cuomo’s time in office, he sexually harassed 11 women: Boylan, Bennett, Ruch, Liss, an unnamed executive assistant (identified as Commisso by CBS News), Kaitlin, McGrath, event attendee Virginia Limmiatis, an unnamed New York State trooper and two unnamed state entity employees. The investigation concluded that Cuomo’s behaviour included unwanted groping, kissing and sexual comments, and also found that Cuomo’s office had engaged in illegal retaliation against Boylan for her allegation against him.

Cuomo responded to the report with a denial: “I never touched anyone inappropriately.” The report generated public condemnation against the governor and heightened calls for him to resign. The release also prompted district attorneys for Manhattan, Nassau County, Westchester County, Albany County and Oswego County to pursue criminal investigations regarding his behavior. On August 10, 2021 Cuomo announced he would step down as Governor of New York, effective August 24.

Electoral history

Personal life

Cuomo married Kerry Kennedy, the seventh child of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy, on June 9, 1990. They have three daughters: twins, Cara Ethel Kennedy-Cuomo and Mariah Matilda Kennedy-Cuomo (born 1995), and Michaela Andrea Kennedy-Cuomo (born 1997). They separated in 2003, and divorced in 2005.

Cuomo began dating Food Network host Sandra Lee in 2005, and the couple moved in together in 2011. The two resided in Westchester County, New York. On September 25, 2019, the couple announced that they had ended their relationship.

On July 4, 2015, Cuomo presided over the wedding ceremony of his longtime friend Billy Joel to his fourth wife, Alexis Roderick.

Cuomo is a Roman Catholic. According to The New York Times, Cuomo’s positions in favor of abortion rights and same-sex marriage (and his cohabitation with Lee without marrying her) contrary to church teachings have “become a lightning rod in a decades-old culture war between conservative Catholics and those, like Mr. Cuomo, who disagree with the church’s positions on various issues, including abortion and divorce”.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuomo became known by the nickname of the “Love Gov” after answering a question by his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, about showing his softer tone while leading coronavirus response efforts. The governor responded with, “I’ve always been a soft guy. I am the love gov. I’m a cool dude in a loose mood, you know that. I just say, ‘Let it go, just go with the flow, baby.’ You know. You can’t control anything, so don’t even try.”

Cuomo drives a 1968 Pontiac GTO with the New York license plate of number “1”.

What We Know About Cuomo’s Nursing Home Scandal

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has been accused of deliberately obscuring the full scope of nursing home deaths in New York. The F.B.I. is investigating.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, once widely celebrated for leading New York out of the coronavirus pandemic’s darkest days, is now embroiled in crisis over how many of the state’s nursing home residents died because of the virus and an apparent effort to hide the true toll.

Beginning last spring, Mr. Cuomo was criticized over a state requirement that forced nursing homes to take back residents who had been hospitalized with Covid-19 once they recovered. Critics said the policy had increased the number of virus-related deaths among nursing home residents.

At the time, Mr. Cuomo and his aides dismissed the outcry as politically motivated, and in July, the State Health Department released a report that found the policy was not responsible for an increase. The report did, however, raise questions in some quarters about how the state was reporting deaths.

In January, New York’s attorney general said the administration had undercounted nursing home deaths by several thousand. Mr. Cuomo later acknowledged as much, blaming the lower figure on fears that the Trump administration would use the data as a political weapon.

The suggestion that the actual death count had been covered up intensified criticism of Mr. Cuomo, including from his allies in state government. The scandal deepened after reports that the governor’s aides had altered the July report to hide the true figure.

In April, The New York Times reported that Mr. Cuomo’s aides had gone to far greater lengths than previously known to obscure the death toll, repeatedly overruling state health officials over a span of at least five months.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been looking into whether Mr. Cuomo and his aides provided false data on resident deaths to the Justice Department, according to people with knowledge of the investigation.

The fallout over the nursing home deaths has coincided with a second scandal for Mr. Cuomo: Multiple women have accused him of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. The attorney general, Letitia James, has opened an investigation into the matter.

Dozens of current and former employees of the governor’s office during Mr. Cuomo’s tenure have also described it more broadly as a chaotic and unprofessional workplace that was particularly toxic for young women.

Mr. Cuomo is now in the most turbulent period of his three terms in office, his political future clouded as New York continues to grapple with the virus and the economic toll it has taken.

Numerous Democratic lawmakers, including most of the state’s congressional delegation, have called for him to resign. The State Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, has opened an impeachment inquiry.

Here’s what we know about the nursing home matter so far. (And here is a similar rundown of the sexual harassment scandal.)

New York COVID-19 nursing home scandal

In January 2021, Attorney General of New York Letitia James released a report finding that Governor Andrew Cuomo had understated the toll of COVID-19-related deaths in state nursing homes by as much as 50 percent. The scandal was made public on February 11, 2021, when the New York Post reported that Melissa DeRosa, a secretary and aide to Cuomo, privately apologized to lawmakers for the administration withholding the nursing-home death toll in fear then-President Donald Trump would “turn this into a giant political football“.

The nature of the scandal is widely known as an “alleged cover up“. U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme of the Eastern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have launched an investigation into New York state’s handling of nursing home deaths.

Cuomo’s order

On March 7, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency after 89 cases had been confirmed in the state: 70 in Westchester County, 12 in New York City, and seven elsewhere. New York State quickly became the epicenter for the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. On April 9, 2020, Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill Health Center asked New York State health officials permission to transfer a resident to the nearly empty Javits Center emergency hospital, a request that Cobble Hill says was denied. The Javits Center pictured on April 2, 2020, outfitted to care for patients with COVID-19.

Cuomo issued an order on March 25, 2020 that all New York State nursing homes must accept residents that are medically stable. The order further stated that “[n]o resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19”.

On May 10, 2020, Cuomo rescinded the previous order issued on March 25, which directed nursing homes to admit patients carrying COVID-19. Cuomo repeatedly stated that the order was based on CDC guidance issued by the Trump administrationPolitiFact rated that statement as “mostly false” because the guidelines issued by the CDC and CMS indicated that a medically stable COVID-19 patient could be discharged from a hospital to a nursing home “only if the nursing home can implement all recommended infection control procedures.” The Associated Press reported on May 21, 2020, that over 4,500 patients who were recovering from COVID-19 were sent to New York State nursing homes. The report was compiled after the New York State Department of Health failed to release its own two weeks earlier.

During the initial outset of the pandemic, Cuomo garnered a high reputation for his response to COVID-19. His name was floated as a possible replacement of Joe Biden as the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee due to his newfound popularity. He launched daily COVID-19 press briefings which saw early acclaim, and were often the first source of new pandemic policy for health officials before anywhere else.

New York State Department of Health’s report

On July 6, 2020, the New York State Department of Health released a report stating that most deaths in nursing homes were from asymptomatic spread by staff and visitors. Following the report’s release, Andrew Cuomo held a press conference in which he stated criticism of nursing home deaths “has no basis in fact. It was pure politics and it was ugly politics. And now the report has the facts, and the facts tell the exact opposite story.”

According to a February 2021 study conducted by the Empire Center for Public Policy, the March 25 order “was not the sole or primary cause of the heavy death toll in nursing homes,” however it did find it “was associated with a statistically significant increase in resident deaths.” This contradicted the July 6 report, which claimed “admission policies were not a significant factor in nursing home fatalities”.

July 2020 press conference

At a press conference held on July 24, 2020, Cuomo dismissed a reporter’s question about appointing an independent investigator to the COVID-19 deaths within nursing homes as politically motivated by conservative media outlets. Cuomo stated:

Yeah. I don’t believe your characterization is correct. I believe it is a political issue. I think it’s the New York Post. I think it’s Michael Goodwin. I think it’s Bob McManus. I think it’s FOX TV. I think it is all politically motivated. If anybody looked at the facts, they would know that it was wholly absurd on its face. People died in nursing homes. That’s very unfortunate. Just on the top line, we are number 35th in the nation in percentage of deaths in nursing homes. Go talk to 34 other states first. Go talk to the Republican states now. Florida, Texas, Arizona. Ask them what is happening in nursing homes. It’s all politics.

Undercounting deaths

New York Attorney General’s report

On January 28, 2021, New York State Attorney General (OAG) Letitia James issued a report that the New York State Department of Health (DOH) had undercounted the total deaths from COVID-19 within nursing homes by 50 percent. James stated, “preliminary data obtained by OAG suggests that many nursing home residents died from COVID-19 in hospitals after being transferred from their nursing homes, which is not reflected in DOH’s published total nursing home death data.” In the weeks following this report, the death toll of long-term care residents within the state had gone up from 8,500 to 15,000.

Melissa DeRosa leaked statement

On February 12, 2021, the New York Post released audio of Cuomo’s secretary Melissa DeRosa apologizing to New York Democratic leadership in a video conference. In the audio, DeRosa said that they had intentionally withheld August 2020 nursing home death data from state legislators out of concern that the Trump administration would use the information against the Cuomo administration and gain political advantage in the 2020 election. DeRosa stated:

Basically, we froze because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice or what we give to you guys and what we start saying was going to be used against us, and we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.

NBC News reported on DeRosa’s leaked comments, saying they were the catalyst for the federal investigation.

Rewriting of nursing home report[edit]

On March 4, 2021, interviews and reports from The New York Times found that several of Cuomo’s aides, Melissa DeRosa, Linda Lacewell and Jim Malatras had rewritten a report from state health officials to omit 9,250 COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents. Following Attorney Genera Letitia James’ January report that first exposed the cover-up, Cuomo’s administration released complete data, including the nursing home deaths, and cited the possibility of a politically-motivated investigation from the Department of Justice as a justification. “Interviews with six people with direct knowledge of the discussions” found that conflicts between Cuomo’s aides and top state health officials had begun long before the report was first released, resulting in 9 health officials resigning, in response to Cuomo’s “war on his own public health bureaucracy.” Beth Garvey, a special counsel, argued that “the out-of-facility data was omitted after D.O.H. could not confirm it had been adequately verified”, and that they would have had no effect on the conclusions of the Health Department‘s July 2020 report finding Cuomo’s policies not to blame for the deaths.


Following the report released by New York Attorney General Letitia James, bipartisan criticism emerged toward Andrew Cuomo and his handling of the pandemic.


The New York Daily News editorial board criticized Cuomo, writing that while Cuomo and his administration were not “personally liable” for COVID-19 deaths in New York, it was “difficult to excuse” the Cuomo administration actions in delaying the release of “the full count of nursing home and other adult care facility deaths” and having “misled New Yorkers about the reason for the delay.” The paper’s editorial board added, “The cover-up is always worse than the crime. For this one, executed via repeated misleading statements to the public, there must be consequences, starting with a better explanation and some true contrition from Cuomo.”

James Freeman, an editorial writer at the Wall Street Journal, criticized Cuomo for “his reckless policy of forcing vulnerable populations to accept greater risk of infection—and then hiding the results” and wrote that withholding “crucial information from public disclosure” was a “custom” of the New York state government under Cuomo.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, the host of Cuomo Prime Time, had been subject to a rule that CNN put in place in 2013 that prevented him from interviewing or covering his brother Andrew Cuomo.[32] During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, CNN made an exception to the rule to allow Chris Cuomo to interview his brother on pandemic matters, saying, “The early months of the pandemic crisis were an extraordinary time. We felt that Chris speaking with his brother about the challenges of what millions of American families were struggling with was of significant human interest.” The on-air discussions between the brothers involved both “serious pandemic talk” and “family banter.” However, Chris Cuomo’s show did not cover the subsequent nursing home controversy, with CNN saying the rule against Cuomo covering his brother “remains in place today.” Axios stated that the omission “raises questions about whether the governor should have ever appeared” on his brother’s show. Erik Wemple, a media critic for the Washington Post, criticized CNN’s decision to allow a conflict of interest, writing that “in ‘unusual times,’ principles of journalism merit even more rigorous adherence, not an expedient suspension” and “You can’t nullify a rule when your star anchor’s brother is flying high, only to invoke it during times of scandal.”

Prior to the report released by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Andrew Cuomo had received the International Emmy Founders Award from the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his COVID-19 press briefings. After the report, several New York lawmakers sought to have his Emmy revoked.

New York politicians[edit]

Former Governor George Pataki lambasted Andrew Cuomo in February 2021, saying the “cover-up is worse than the crime”.[37] New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for further investigations into Cuomo and his administration’s handling of the crisis.[38] Assembly member Ron Kim told the New York Post he believed Cuomo committed “obstruction of criminal investigations of health care offenses”. He also said Cuomo had personally called him and told him he’d “destroy” him for criticizing his administration. When asked for comment on Kim’s allegation, de Blasio called it “classic Andrew Cuomo” in an interview with Morning Joe on MSNBC. Further assembly members and state senators criticized Cuomo, such as Jessica Ramos, with 14 Democrats joining the Republican minority in an effort to rescind Cuomo’s emergency powers on February 12.

On March 5, 2021, the New York legislature voted 43–20 in the Senate and 107–43 in the Assembly to officially strip Cuomo of his emergency powers. Some legislators felt the move came too late, and rathered he be impeached instead, as was the sentiment of Democratic Assemblymember Charles Barron and Republican Assemblymember Fred Akshar.

On March 11, 2021, the New York legislature launched an impeachment inquiry into Cuomo, both for his role in undercounting nursing home deaths and for several sexual harassment allegations recently reported against him. At that point, 59 Democrats within the Senate and Assembly had signed onto a statement demanding Cuomo’s resignation.

Federal politicians

U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik from New York’s 21st congressional district called for a federal investigation into the Cuomo administration as early as May 2020.[46] President Donald Trump called for an investigation via Twitter in September 2020, “@NYGovCuomo should get his puppet New York prosecutors, who have been illegally after me and my family for years, to investigate his incompetent handling of the China Virus, and all of the deaths caused by this incompetence. It is at minimum a Nursing Home Scandal – 11,000 DEAD!”[47] Following the attorneys general report, U.S. Representative Nicole Malliotakis from New York’s 11th congressional district began to circulate a petition calling for Cuomo to resign.[48] U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado from New York’s 19th congressional district also called for an investigation into Cuomo, saying those who lost loved ones “deserve answers and accountability”.[49][50] On February 19, 2021, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York’s 14th congressional district stated, “I support our state’s return to co-equal governance and stand with our local officials calling for a full investigation of the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during COVID-19.”[51][52]

Andrew Cuomo’s denial of cover-up[edit]

On February 15, 2021, Cuomo defended his handling of the crisis. He claimed that New York state did not cover-up the number of deaths in nursing homes, but acknowledged that officials should have released the information earlier.[53] He said that “New York was ground zero for Covid, and nursing homes were and still are ground zero for Covid”.[54] In regards to allegations of threatening Assemblymember Ron Kim, Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, said Kim was “lying”, adding, “I know because I was one of three other people in the room when the phone call occurred. At no time did anyone threaten to ‘destroy’ anyone with their ‘wrath’ nor engage in a ‘cover-up.’”[55]

Allies of Cuomo cited approval ratings as evidence of his competence; on February 15, Jay S. Jacobs, the chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, said that “despite the best efforts of the far fringe, Governor Cuomo’s popularity remains unchanged; 11 months into global pandemic, 61% of voters approve of his response”, citing a poll taken between February 7 and 11. As a counterpoint to that claim, Slate credited the high numbers to Democrats “celebrating the idea of the competent blue-state governor as more important than reckoning with the reality of a serially underachieving chief executive playing three-card monte with dead bodies.” As criticism intensified, Cuomo’s approval began to see sharp declines, with a Marist College poll showing Cuomo underwater with 49%, down from a high of 66% in July.

Federal investigation[edit]

On February 17, 2021, Times Union reported that U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme of the Eastern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had launched an investigation into New York state’s handling of nursing home deaths. The Eastern District (rather than the Southern District) is handling the investigation because Audrey Strauss, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, is the mother-in-law of Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa, meaning that Strauss would have to recuse herself from any involvement in the investigation. During his confirmation for the position of U.S. attorney generalMerrick Garland said “with all of these investigations, the Justice Department is open to evidence of fraud, false statements, violations of the law,” in regards to the federal investigation into Cuomo and his administration.

In light of the investigation, on March 5, 2021, Republican staff of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means scheduled a meeting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to inquire what improvements need to be made regarding tracking of COVID-19 and whether the agencies possess the capabilities to catch future instances of COVID-19 death manipulation. Democratic staff members were offered an invitation by the Republican staff to attend.

On March 19, 2021, The F.B.I. reported that an investigation was underway on Governor Andrew Cuomo for improperly using the power of his office to shield nursing home executive political donors from Covid-19 lawsuits.

More than 172,000 residents and employees of nursing homes and long-term care facilities have died of complications from Covid-19 in the United States, according to a Times analysis. New York leads all states in such deaths, with more than 15,000 so far.

By the time the Health Department issued its July report, Mr. Cuomo had been under fire over nursing homes for months. The criticism came mostly from Republican lawmakers, who suggested his administration was directly responsible for the high death toll.

At issue was a policy issued in March 2020 that effectively ordered nursing homes to take back residents who had been discharged from hospitals after being treated for Covid-19. The goal was to keep virus patients from overwhelming hospitals, a step other states also took.

Mr. Cuomo’s critics said the order had fueled the spread of the virus in nursing homes. He disputed the accusation.

The Health Department report revived questions about how New York was counting such deaths. At the time, the state’s tally only included residents who had died inside a nursing home; it excluded those who died at a hospital or other facility.Sign up for the New York Today Newsletter  Each morning, get the latest on New York businesses, arts, sports, dining, style and more. Get it sent to your inbox.

The policy, which differed from those followed in other states, effectively hid the total number of nursing home residents who had died of the virus. State lawmakers called for hearings and requested complete data. Public health officials criticized the administration’s approach. Eventually, the Justice Department opened an inquiry.

Throughout the summer and fall, Mr. Cuomo dismissed the criticism by citing to the Health Department report. Around the same time, he was celebrating the state’s initial success in controlling the virus’s spread after a devastating spring during which tens of thousands of people died.

After his televised briefings catapulted him into the national spotlight, Mr. Cuomo wrote a book about what he viewed as his achievements during the still-raging pandemic. In light of the recent controversies, the book’s publisher has said it would no longer promote the title and that it would not issue a paperback version.

Behind the scenes, some of Mr. Cuomo’s advisers were battling top state health officials over the nursing home death count in the Health Department report, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Times.

As the report was being written, the department’s data put the number of fatalities about 50 percent higher than the figure the Cuomo administration was citing publicly at the time. (The difference was estimated to be as much as 3,000 deaths.)

State health officials could see from the data that a significant number of nursing home residents had died after being transferred to hospitals. Some of them thought those deaths should be included in the overall tally. But when Mr. Cuomo’s most senior aides saw the report, they rewrote it to eliminate the higher count.

The governor’s office said the number of deaths that occurred outside homes was omitted because the Health Department “could not confirm it had been adequately verified.” A department spokesman added that the figures had not been ready in time to be included in the report.

Lawmakers from both parties called for complete data after the report’s release, with some suggesting the information was being withheld to improve the governor’s image. In August, the state health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, said the department was still auditing the data and could not release it.

The Path to Governor Cuomo’s Resignation

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Plans to resign. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said Tuesday that he would resign from office amid a sexual harassment scandal. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be sworn in to replace him.

Multiple claims of sexual harassment. Eleven women, including current and former members of his administration, have accused Mr. Cuomo of sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviorAn independent inquiry, overseen by the New York State attorney general, corroborated their accounts. The report also found that he and aides retaliated against at least one woman who made her complaints public.

Nursing home Covid-19 controversy. The Cuomo administration is also under fire for undercounting the number of nursing-home deaths caused by Covid-19 in the first half of 2020, a scandal that deepened after a Times investigation found that aides rewrote a health department report to hide the real number.

Efforts to obscure the death toll. Interviews and unearthed documents revealed in April that aides repeatedly overruled state health officials in releasing the true nursing home death toll for months. Several senior health officials have resigned in response to the governor’s overall handling of the pandemic, including the vaccine rollout.

Will Cuomo still be impeached? The State Assembly opened an impeachment investigation in March. But after Mr. Cuomo announced his resignation, it was unclear whether the Assembly would move forward with its impeachment process. If Mr. Cuomo were impeached and convicted, he could be barred from holding state office again.

Looking to the future. Mr. Cuomo said on Tuesday that his resignation would take effect in 14 days, and that Ms. Hochul, a Democrat, would be sworn in to replace him. She will be the first woman in New York history to occupy the state’s top office.

But, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions over the July report who were interviewed by The Times, Dr. Zucker was aware as early as June that officials in his department believed the data was solid enough to include in the report.

The Times subsequently reported on the more sustained effort to hide the death toll among nursing home residents. That effort included the burying of a scientific paper that incorporated the death data, the delayed release of a top Cuomo aide’s audit of the figures, and a failure to send two letters drafted by the Health Department that were meant for state legislators.

As politicians, health experts and federal investigators called for complete figures for the deaths of nursing home residents, the Cuomo administration continued to delay the data’s release, saying more time was need to compile and verify it.

Then in January, Ms. James reported that the administration had undercounted virus-related deaths of nursing home residents by several thousand. Hours later, the Health Department added more than 3,800 such deaths to its tally.

Lawmakers again demanded answers about the delay in releasing the figures, with many theorizing that the administration had deliberately stalled to avoid blame for the higher toll.

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On a private conference call in February, Melissa DeRosa, a top aide to Mr. Cuomo, told Democratic lawmakers that the state had withheld the data because it feared an investigation by the Trump administration.

But according to documents and interviews, Ms. DeRosa herself was involved in rewriting the Health Department report months before the Justice Department began seeking information about the administration’s nursing home policy.

The F.B.I. has since been looking at information that New York submitted last year to the Justice Department, which had asked for data on Covid-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes, according to people familiar with the investigation. False statements in such a submission could constitute a crime.

After The New York Post reported on Ms. DeRosa’s remarks, Mr. Cuomo admitted that the lack of transparency on the nursing home data had been a mistake. But he did not offer a full apology and lashed out at a Democratic lawmaker who had repeatedly pressed for investigations into the matter.

The lawmaker, Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Queens Democrat, had said he believed the administration was “trying to dodge having any incriminating evidence” when it withheld the data.

Mr. Kim said the governor had called him and had threatened to ruin his reputation unless he rescinded the remarks. At a subsequent news conference, Mr. Cuomo responded by denouncing Mr. Kim in scathing terms.

As the governor became engulfed in controversy, the Legislature’s Democratic leaders moved to strip him of the emergency powers he had been granted when the pandemic hit New York.

Then, with Mr. Cuomo confronting one of the most serious crises in his time as governor, two former aides accused him of sexual harassment in the workplace. The allegations — and accusations from more women that followed — increased the political pressure further. That pressure grew again with the Assembly’s move to begin an impeachment inquiry.

With regard to the harassment allegations, Mr. Cuomo has apologized for acting “in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,” but he has also said he did so unintentionally and has insisted repeatedly that he will not resign.

Was Governor Cuomo Responsible for the Death of Thousands of Nursing Home Inhabitants?

The 56th Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, had the grave misfortune of presiding over one of the states hit hardest by COVID-19. According to a recent poll the governor has enjoyed a sky-high approval rating due to his leadership during the ongoing crisis. 

Prior to the pandemic, he was polling at a dismal 3/10 favorable rating whereas now he is seen as one of the most liked politicians in the country with a new rating of 7/10. Some people like his brother and CNN anchor Chris Cuomo even asked if he was considering running for president because of his new popularity. 

However, his record is far from stellar. He may have easily committed one of the greatest atrocities of the crisis: Mandating the transfer of over 4,500 COVID-19 patients to nursing homes full of vulnerable and elderly individuals which eventually saw over 6,000 deaths.

The Context

New York State has struggled the most with the sheer number of COVID-19 cases compared to the rest of the country. Caught off guard, the hospitals were unable to handle the vast number of patients. Alongside overflowing hospitals, red tape surrounding the use of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and the Navy hospital ship anchored in New York City complicated the process of locating overflow recipients. 

Governor Cuomo was faced with the difficult decision of finding space to house the excess patients. His solution was to issue an executive order that sent thousands of COVID-19 patients to nursing homes around the state. The executive order did not account for the circumstances of individual facilities and was compulsory. 

In the words of the Associated Press

“It was the single dumbest decision anyone could make if they wanted to kill people,” Daniel Arbeeny said of the directive, which prompted him to pull his 88-year-old father out of a Brooklyn nursing home where more than 50 people have died.

March 25 – The Executive Order

On March 25th, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order forcing nursing homes to receive patients from overflowing hospitals. The order mandates that “During this global health emergency, all NHs must comply with the expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals to NHs”. 

As a result over 4,500 COVID-19 patients were forcibly transferred from hospitals to nursing homes regardless of their capacity to accept them. According to the Associated Press, “New York has not mandated testing in its more than 1,150 nursing homes and long-term care facilities”. 

In fact, the executive order went further to forbid the required testing of COVID-19 within the facilities. The language was as follows: 

“No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. NHs are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.” 

Not only were nursing homes compelled to accept patients that were hospitalized for COVID-19, but they were barred from conducting further tests to ensure continued safety.

The Result

According to ProPublica, “The decision by Cuomo and Zucker, whose department regulates all nursing homes in the state, drew fire as soon as it was announced from medical experts, nursing home operators and the families of residents. Cuomo himself had said protecting nursing home residents was the state’s top priority, once calling the threat “fire through dry grass.”

Cuomo was correct about the vulnerability of nursing homes, as the weeks following the executive order saw 6,000 deaths out of the 100,000 New York citizens inhabiting nursing homes. This number is even more astounding when you consider that this accounts for about a fifth of all the recorded COVID-19 related deaths in the state even though only a small percentage of the population resides in nursing homes.

Why Nursing Homes Are Particularly Vulnerable to COVID-19

Nursing homes are an incredibly dangerous place to be during the pandemic. US News shares an explicit and grim testimony from a family that learned this firsthand when COVID-19 claimed their “81-year-old mother… Mama was trapped in a petri dish, and we were shut out. Mama died alone and our family will forever be scarred by this tragedy.” 

This incredibly tragic and awful incident is not an isolated occurrence nor is it unexpected. The basic science surrounding the COVID-19 virus explains clearly why if anything nursing homes are the last place we should be sending patients.

According to the Centers for Disease Control the most vulnerable members of the population are the elderly, especially those with preexisting health conditions. The elderly are far more at risk of death than the rest of the population by an order of magnitude. The number of COVID-19 deaths is skewed very strongly towards the 65-years and above bracket. 

A rough estimate of the CDC’s graph of elderly victims shows about a thousand death increase per ten-year age bracket. US News reports that around 84.5% of the nursing home population is above the age of 65. Basic mathematics tells us that using nursing homes as an overflow recipient for COVID-19 patients, much less forcing them to receive them as well as barring them from requiring further testing, is a terrible idea.

This speculation has been realized to a horrifying extent as US News reports that 

“Nationwide, more than 45,500 residents and staff have died from coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to a running count by The Associated Press. That’s about 40% of more than 115,000 total deaths. Nursing home residents are less than 1% of the U.S. population”.

Alongside the basic science of why forcing COVID-19 patients into nursing homes is a bad idea, it’s also terrible management. To Governor Cuomo’s credit, some nursing homes were more than happy to accept patients and heroically volunteered. Others were in absolutely no position to do so as caring for sick and elderly individuals is already difficult as it is. Creating a blanket policy that disregards these nuances and eliminates the intimate discretion that could have kept unprepared nursing homes safe was a recipe for disaster. If anything allowing the administrators of nursing homes to negotiate with hospitals on their own volition would have proved to be far more productive.

Instead, all nursing homes were required to receive patients, some of which were more than prepared to. Others looked like the one Pro Publica describes

 “the facility was chronically short of staff and equipment. Sometimes the facility had as few as four aides and one nurse looking after as many as 80 patients on a single floor, each suffering a variety of ailments that screamed for attention — incontinence, dementia, basic mobility.”

This situation was present prior to the pandemic, and one can only imagine how terrible things have gotten after. The Associated Press offers insight from Chris Laxton, executive director of the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. “This order made an already difficult situation almost impossible.”

What Does the Cuomo Administration Have To Say?

On May 10, 2020, the executive order was thankfully rescinded, but the Governor and his officials have certainly mounted a defense of their decision. Pro Publica writes that the state Health Department was lax if not completely uninvolved in monitoring what happened after patients were sent to nursing homes. There are also disputed claims on whether or not the state was even recording deaths in nursing homes until late April. 

The Cuomo administration even went further to say that it disputes evidence that sending patients to nursing home centers has resulted in increased deaths. Pro Publica states that “The Cuomo administration would not say who conceived of the order or answer the question of whether it believed the order had led to additional deaths. The administration said the Health Department was conducting “a thorough review” of COVID-19’s impact on nursing homes.”

“Science will determine whether the spread in nursing homes came as a result of returning residents or from asymptomatic staff who were already there,” said Jonah Bruno, a spokesman for the New York Health Department.”

During a press conference on May 20 Governor Cuomo decided to offer another explanation in defense of his administration’s actions: Blame it on the Trump administration. 

He stated that “anyone who wants to ask, why did the state do that with COVID patients in nursing homes? It’s because the state followed President Trump’s CDC guidance. So they should ask President Trump. I think that will stop the conversation.”

Politifact determined this statement to be “mostly false.” The reason being that the CDC guidance did not call for the mandatory transfer of patients to nursing homes nor did it prohibit further testing for COVID-19. An official at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services cited a March 13 document that clarifies “A nursing home can accept a resident diagnosed with COVID-19 and still under Transmission Based Precautions for COVID-19 as long as the facility can follow CDC guidance for Transmission-Based Precautions.” 

The Verdict

Ordering 4,500 COVID-19 patients to be transferred from hospitals to the most vulnerable populations in the state was perhaps the worst decision during the entire pandemic. It should be basic knowledge that the virus is dangerous to those over the age of 65, especially those with preexisting health conditions. A few more thought and you’d realize that the overwhelming majority of nursing home residents are composed of exactly those kinds of people. 

Furthermore, across the country, nursing homes are the epicenter of COVID-19 deaths for exactly those reasons. Therefore, issuing an executive order that not only mandated the transfer of patients but prohibited further testing for the virus was absolutely insane. Lastly, Governor Cuomo attempted to blame the Trump Administration and its CDC guidance which looked very different from what his executive order had entailed.

However, we cannot claim with exact certainty that it was the Cuomo administration’s actions that led to the death of 6,000 nursing home residents. Furthermore, we cannot claim it was their intention to spread COVID-19 throughout the state’s facilities. Governor Cuomo was placed in a difficult situation and made the worst mistake possible; of that is no question. But we all make mistakes. Whether or not New Yorkers should continue to entrust their loved ones with his leadership is another question entirely.

Andrew Cuomo’s Covid-19 nursing home fiasco shows the ethical perils of pandemic policymaking

WASHINGTON — The humbling of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on pandemic policy has been spectacular and swift. Within a matter of days, one of America’s most trusted voices in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic became a political pariah.

Outrage over Cuomo’s decisions — first, to require nursing homes to accept Covid-19-positive patients when New York’s hospitals were overflowing, and then, to hide data about deaths of nursing home residents — has engulfed Albany in recent weeks. Court orders, leaks, and investigations revealed that Cuomo dramatically and intentionally understated the pandemic’s toll on nursing home residents in New York.

Cuomo’s fall from grace is a cautionary tale of the perils of policymaking during a public health crisis. Making the right decisions in the early days of battling a novel virus is incredibly difficult, and leaders shouldn’t fear retribution for tough choices they made in good faith, five ethicists and public health experts told STAT. But that doesn’t absolve leaders from taking responsibility for their missteps.

“You’re asking for the public to entrust you with executive power during this time, when you don’t have all the information yet. You have to assure the public that you are using that information to adapt accordingly. If you don’t do that, the public wouldn’t be able to trust you,” said Anita Ho, an associate professor of bioethics at the University of California, San Francisco.

The ethicists said that Cuomo’s conduct stands out not because the policy he put in place was especially egregious, but because he obscured public health data for political gain.

Cuomo wasn’t alone in prohibiting nursing homes from discriminating against patients based on their Covid-19 infection status — officials in other states with similar nursing home policies faced criticism, but managed to avoid career-threatening blowback.

Hospitals were truly overwhelmed, and data has shown the nursing home transfer policies were not the sole or primary drivers of Covid-19 nursing home deaths. The number of deaths that may have been caused by the policies remains unclear.

But then Cuomo hid the data.

“Cuomo got such positive press as someone who was a straight shooter, particularly in contrast to somebody like President Trump. … Lying about the nursing home data is antithetical to that, and caused a real problem,” said Michael Gusmano, a professor of health policy at Rutgers University.

Cuomo’s office did not respond to questions about his administration’s nursing home data reporting.

Cuomo’s first missteps came in March. New York City hospitals were overwhelmed, and New York’s influential hospital lobby was pleading with Cuomo to issue policy on transfers to nursing homes. Greater New York Hospital Association spokesperson Brian Conway said hospitals made the request because Cuomo had ordered hospitals to immediately increase bed capacity by at least 50%.

Cuomo on March 25 issued the controversial directive that told nursing homes they couldn’t deny patients coming from hospitals admission based on a Covid-19 diagnosis.

Evaluating the ethics of that directive is a little more complicated than evaluating your average executive order. In the midst of a crisis, public health ethicists said, policymakers don’t have the luxury of time to do typical outreach and data analysis, but they do have a responsibility to be as thorough as they can.

Carmel Shachar, the executive director of Harvard Law School’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, said it was ultimately Cuomo’s responsibility to ensure his staff was analyzing potential consequences.

It’s not clear he did. Cuomo and his team didn’t talk to some relevant nursing home stakeholders before they made the policy, and were perhaps overly reliant on the politically powerful hospital industry. LeadingAge New York President and CEO Jim Clyne, who represents nonprofit nursing homes in New York, said he didn’t hear about the policy until after it was released. The national lobby representing nursing homes called the policy a “mistake” that could cause more hospitalizations.

The policy seemed to be overly “hospital-centric” because the experts called upon to shape the policy were primarily in the hospital sector, said Jim Lytle, senior counsel at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips. Cuomo has expressed open distrust toward scientific experts, and instead has preferred to work with the health care industry.

“I don’t think it was meant to be harmful, but I don’t think it was well-intended,” said Richard Mollot, executive director of the New York-based Long Term Care Community Coalition. “I think it was an utter lack of regard for nursing home residents.”

The governor days later put a provision in the state budget that curbed patients’ ability to sue nursing homes and hospitals. Both hospitals and nursing homes had advocated for it.

Cuomo’s team also proceeded despite early compelling evidence that nursing home residents were especially vulnerable to Covid-19. The first known cluster of Covid-19 cases in the United States happened in a Washington nursing home. Media reports featuring public health experts warning of nursing home residents’ vulnerability emerged in early March, well before Cuomo’s directive.

As criticism mounted, Cuomo effectively rescinded the nursing home transfer policy on May 10.

The second, and more ethically problematic decision, was the call to hide data about how many nursing home residents died in nursing homes, and how many Covid-19 patients were transferred from hospitals to nursing homes.

The Cuomo administration managed to keep much of that data under wraps until late January, when the dam broke. The Democratic state attorney general published a bombshell accusation that the administration undercounted nursing home deaths by more than 50%. Data obtained by the Associated Press showed more than 9,000 recovering Covid-19 patients were transferred from nursing homes to hospitals, which was 40% higher than the previously disclosed number.

Then, earlier this month, the New York Post published an explosive report based on leaked footage of one of Cuomo’s top aides claiming the administration hid data on nursing home deaths to avoid political retribution from Trump.

The revelations shed unflattering light on Cuomo’s decision to cherry-pick data and stonewall the advocates and journalists who had been seeking transparency for months.Cuomo had repeatedly boasted about an apples-to-oranges comparison of New York’s nursing home deaths compared to other states.

Another talking point was a July report from the New York State Department of Health that defended the transfer policy based on incomplete numbers.

The Cuomo administration even trotted out “independent reviewers” to bolster the report. Three of the four were hospital executives and a hospital lobbyist who advocated for the policy. One reviewer, Michael Dowling, the president and CEO of Northwell Health, also wrote a book about the pandemic that has an endorsement from Cuomo splashed across the cover.

Using the incomplete numbers, the report found that the primary driver of Covid-19 in nursing homes was asymptomatic spread by staff, which other analyses have confirmed. The virus was present in many nursing homes before the transfer policy was enacted. But the health department also argued that the analysis showed admission policies were “not a significant factor in nursing home fatalities,” and has maintained that stance after new data was revealed.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said it’s not clear if that’s true.

In January, she countered the health department’s declaration of innocence, saying more analysis is necessary but the transfers “may have contributed to increased risk of nursing home resident infection, and subsequent fatalities.”

The Albany-based Empire Center for Public Policy — which sued the Cuomo administration for nursing home death data and won — also analyzed the new numbers. The group argues that there was a statistically significant increase in resident deaths in nursing homes that accepted hospital transfers. The analysis shows that the effect was more pronounced upstate, where Covid-19 was less prevalent in communities at the time of the March directive.

Cuomo may have had reason to be concerned about the data being politicized by the Trump administration. Trump’s Justice Department requested nursing home data from four Democratic governors in August, and expanded its inquiry a week before the presidential election. In September, Trump blamed management of the pandemic in “blue states” for the high Covid-19 death toll in the United States. During the last presidential debate, Trump mentioned statistics on nursing home deaths in New York to argue the state had poorly handled the pandemic.The ultimate ethics test for Cuomo’s actions should be whether his decision to withhold data was based on the public interest, or his personal interest, said John Pelissero, a senior scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

“What appears to have come out is that the Cuomo administration made a politically expedient decision,” Pelissero said. “In doing so, for what appears to be political reasons, they failed to serve the public interest.”

Cuomo on Feb. 15 expressed regret for not releasing more data sooner, but still has stood by the transfer policy.STAT+: 

Exclusive analysis of biopharma, health policy, and the life sciences.

It remains unclear what level of accountability Cuomo will face. The FBI and federal prosecutors opened an investigation into his administration’s handling of the data. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has called for an investigation, but spokespeople for Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) did not respond to STAT inquiries on the issue.

Even if Cuomo dodges criminal or civil liability, he will still face political accountability at the hands of voters.

Gusmano, the Rutgers professor, said he understood the governor’s political concerns that Trump may have weaponized the nursing home data to harm New York, but they don’t excuse the governor’s clear effort to mislead the public and state lawmakers.

“What they are learning now, is that they would have been better off admitting the consequences of this decision,” Gusmano said.

DOJ declines to investigate Cuomo’s handling of covid-19 in nursing homes

The U.S. Justice Department announced Saturday that it will not conduct a civil investigation into New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D)’s handling of coronavirus casesinstate nursing facilities.

In a letter sent to Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) on Friday, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Joe Gaeta wrote that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division had requested information on “nursing facilities run by, or for, the State of New York” last August. After a review, the letter stated that the department would decline to open an investigation into any public nursing facility in the state based on violations of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.

Zeldin had requested the investigation earlier this year, adding to the growing number of state and federal inquiries into the New York governor.

Zeldin, a Republican candidate in next year’s gubernatorial race who represents a congressional district in Long Island, released a statement Friday, attacking the Justice Department for its decision.

“The families and loved ones of the victims of Governor Cuomo’s failed leadership deserve transparency, accountability and the truth about the lengths of the Cuomo administration’s cover up and corruption,” said Zeldin. “The Department of Justice has now chosen to willfully participate in the effort to deny the public answers and accountability.”

Cuomo’s handling of coronavirus cases in the early days of the pandemic has been the source of controversy after the state ordered nursing homes to accept discharging hospital patients, regardless of a suspected or positive diagnosis of the virus. Cuomo’s office was accused of downplaying and undercounting the subsequent death toll in nursing homes.

In January, a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James found that, “a larger number of nursing home residents died from covid-19 than the New York State Department of Health’s (DOH) published nursing home data reflected and may have been undercounted by as much as 50 percent.” That report also found that many nursing home facilities did not properly isolate residents who had tested positive for the coronavirus or screen employees for potential infections.

Last July, New York health officials released a report denying that their policies had caused any increase in fatalities.

The New York governor’s office remains under state and federal scrutiny over multiple questions. The U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn is conducting an investigation into the governor’s office for its nursing home policies and allegedly undercounting the number of fatalities. The U.S. attorney’s office did not comment Saturday on that investigation. The New York attorney general’s office continues to investigate allegations of sexual harassment against the governor as well as the more than $5 million the governor received for a book he authored about the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo is also under investigation for allegedly giving preferential treatment to family members for coronavirus testing.

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who earlier this year was named chair of the House Republican Conference, also decried what she called a “shameful” decision.

“President Biden is now complicit in these deaths,” the congresswoman said in a tweet .

Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

Last August, the Department of Justice requested data from four states — New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan — that had issued orders requiring coronavirus patients to be admitted to nursing facilities. The department said at the time that these actions “may have resulted in deaths” of patients at said facilities. In October, the department also opened an investigation into the conditions at two nursing facilities operated by New Jersey.

In addition to New York, the Department of Justice has also declined to open investigationsin any of the other states from which it initially requested data. Gaeta delivered the news in a separate letter to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).

Scalise, the ranking Republican member of the House select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, called the decision “outrageous.”

The Andrew Cuomo scandal, explained

Earlier this year, New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo (D) looked to be in a commanding political position. With sky-high approval ratings and several legislative achievements to his name, his reelection effort looked like a formality. But this summer, he’s faced unflattering headlines about a scandal surrounding his administration’s interference with an ethics commission — particularly after a lengthy investigative report by Susanne Craig, William Rashbaum, and Thomas Kaplan of the New York Times. Now, a US Attorney is investigating the situation. Here’s what we know so far.

Where’d the commission come from?

(Governor Cuomo’s Office / Flickr)

After news of several corruption scandals involving members of New York’s legislature, and the legislature’s subsequent failure to pass an ethics reform bill, Cuomo announced in July 2013 that, along with the state’s independently elected Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, he was establishing a 25-member commission to investigate corruption in government. The commission would be empowered to issue subpoenas, so long as its three co-chairs (two of which were appointed by Cuomo, and one by Schneiderman) all signed on. The governor’s authority to establish such a commission was based on a law called the Moreland Act of 1907, so it became known as the Moreland Commission, though its official title was the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption.

Both Cuomo and Schneiderman repeatedly said, at first, that the commission would have broad authority to investigate corruption. “Anything they want to look at, they can look at — me, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the comptroller, any senator, any assemblyman,” Cuomo said in August 2013. And Schneiderman told the New York Times that “there’s no substantial legal argument against them looking into every aspect of the state government,” and that “their jurisdiction is as broad as we can grant using the full authority of my office and of the governor’s office.”

However, many observers now believe that Cuomo merely intended to use the commission as a tool to strong-arm recalcitrant legislators into supporting an ethics bill. Indeed, as Chris Smith of New York Magazine pointed out, the governor’s office later admitted the commission was formed “for a specific purpose — to get legislation passed dealing with the legislature.” Unofficially, the idea seems to have been that the commission’s subpoena power would make corrupt legislators nervous and pressure them into supporting ethics reform.

What did the commission do that was controversial?

(Leonard J. DeFrancisci)

If the commission was mainly supposed to strong-arm the legislature, its chief investigator, former assistant US attorney Danya Perry, apparently didn’t get that memo. Perry proceeded to try and investigate actual corruption, including from places other than the legislature. (The Times called her “a newcomer to politics.”)

The commission never actually tried to investigate the governor’s office or the executive branch more generally. But in two key cases, it explored subpoenaing certain allies of the governor — which resulted in Cuomo’s top aide, Larry Schwartz, making his strong objections known:

Beyond this, the Times’ report, based on interviews and internal commission documents and emails, makes it quite clear that the Cuomo administration repeatedly got involved in the commission’s activities. For instance, Schwartz met with the three heads of the commission and told them they should investigate the legislature, not the governor’s office. Cuomo himself called the commission’s three co-chairs into a meeting, and then suggested that they subpoena law firms that pay large salaries to certain legislators. And certain politically unflattering topics were omitted from the commission’s final report, after being included in earlier drafts.

How did the feds get involved?

US Attorney Preet Bharara. (Andrew Burton / Getty)As part of a March 2014 deal with the legislature that included new ethics reform provisions, Cuomo agreed to shut down the commission, even though he had previously said it would work for 18 months. At the time, the commission had identified 15 lawmakers involved in potentially illegal activity, according to James Odato of the Albany Times-Union.
Days after the shutdown, US Attorney Preet Bharara expressed concern that pending investigations into corruption may have been scrapped as part of a political deal — and he seized all of the commission’s files. “The sequence of these events gives the appearance, although I am sure this is not the intent, that investigations potentially significant to the public interest have been bargained away as part of the negotiated arrangement between legislative and executive leaders,” Bharara wrote.
Weeks later, Cuomo downplayed the controversy to Crain’s New York Business, with rhetoric that contradicted his earlier comments on the commission’s supposedly broad authority. “It’s not a legal question,” he said. “It’s my commission. My subpoena power, My Moreland Commission. I can appoint it, I can disband it.” He continued, “I can’t ‘interfere’ with it, because it is mine. It is controlled by me.” However, a potential problem with this argument is that the commission was not purely established by the governor’s office — all of its commissioners were named deputy attorneys general, as Liz Benjamin wrote here.
In July 2014, the major Times report was released. And in an apparent attempt to manage PR from the situation, Cuomo aides contacted several members of the commission and “encouraged them to make public statements supporting the governor and affirming the panel’s independence,” reported Brendan Lyons of the Albany Times-Union. Several commissioners then did so.
When Bharara’s office learned of this, they viewed the aides’ actions as potential witness tampering and interference with an investigation — and sent a letter threatening to investigate the Cuomo administration for it. “To the extent anyone attempts to influence or tamper with a witness’s recollection of events relevant to our investigation, including the recollection of a commissioner or one of the commission’s employees, we request that you advise our office immediately, as we must consider whether such actions constitute obstruction of justice or tampering with witnesses,” the letter read. Cuomo responded with a statement saying his aides were merely trying to correct “inaccuracies” in media reports.

What’s next?

There’s been muchdiscussion in New York about the unusually public confrontation between Bharara and Cuomo, and speculation about where Bharara’s investigation might be headed. Cuomo has a reputation in New York for micromanagement, particularly regarding relations with the press, so many observers suspect his aides’ actions might have been done at his direct behest. And on August 3, the Wall Street Journal reported that top aide Larry Schwartz would meet with Bharara’s prosecutors later this month.
But it’s not clear how far the investigation will go. According to Bill Hammond of the New York Daily News, “seasoned legal pros are skeptical that Cuomo will be indicted.” Hammond continues, “To back up a federal obstruction-of-justice charge, Bharara would have to show that Cuomo wrongfully and intentionally tried to bury evidence of a potential federal crime that was likely to be referred to federal officials” — rather than merely a state crime. In Politico Magazine, though, Jeff Smith laid out the opposite case, arguing Cuomo’s troubles are “far more serious than some believe.”
While the investigation hasn’t yet seemed to hurt Cuomo’s general election hopes, it could make his upcoming primary at least somewhat more interesting. Cuomo faces a challenge from the left courtesy of Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout. On Thursday, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, an activist against money and corruption in politics, wrote in an email to supporters that Teachout is “the most important anti-corruption candidate in any race in America today.” The email blast helped raise Teachout $50,000 in less than 24 hours. The primary will take place on September 9.

Andrew Cuomo and the Corruption of Albany

Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor, can be grateful that the lowest moment of his tenure took place on a busy news day last week. While the nation was preoccupied with the Presidential election and the aftermath of a police shooting in Charlotte, Cuomo’s best friend, who has also been one of his closest political advisers, was arrested on charges related to what is allegedly a seedy corruption scheme that took place right under the governor’s nose.

Joe Percoco, a close friend of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s and formerly one of his top political advisers, was arrested last week on charges related to an alleged corruption scheme.PHOTOGRAPH BY MIKE GROLL / AP

In his eulogy for his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, in January of 2015, Andrew Cuomo gave that friend, Joe Percoco, the warmest salute of any non-family member. Cuomo said that Percoco was like “my father’s third son, who I sometimes think he loved the most.” Now forty-six, Percoco began volunteering on Mario’s campaigns when he was nineteen, and has spent most of his life working for one Cuomo or another, with his latest (and final) turn as one of Andrew’s closest aides in the executive chamber in Albany. He was also the campaign manager for Cuomo’s successful reëlection bid, in 2014. Through these years, Percoco had no particular policy portfolio (or expertise) to speak of but, rather, served as a kind of political bodyguard for the governor, rewarding friends and punishing enemies.

Percoco was also on the take, according to the federal criminal complaint filed by Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. (Through a lawyer, Percoco denied the charges.) In a way, the scheme seems remarkably simple. In 2012, Percoco and his wife, Lisa Toscano-Percoco, a schoolteacher, bought a home in Westchester for eight hundred thousand dollars, which they could not afford on their salaries. So Percoco, according to the complaint, accepted three hundred and fifteen thousand dollars in bribes, mostly laundered through little-work jobs for his wife, from businesses that were seeking state government contracts. The complaint quotes from Percoco’s e-mails, which suggest that he knew he was engaged in illicit activity because he used code words for the payments. (Admittedly, the code was simpleminded, using, for instance, the term “boxes of ziti” for “money.” The term apparently originated in a scene from “The Sopranos.”)

This would all be bad enough for the governor—a betrayal of public trust by an intimate adviser. But the story for Cuomo may be considerably worse. The charges suggest that one of his signature initiatives—the Buffalo Billion project, a plan to revitalize that troubled city—is beset by corruption and self-dealing. Six other people are charged in Bharara’s seventy-nine-page complaint, including several players who were instrumental in the Buffalo plan. Among those charged with bid-rigging is Alain Kaloyeros, who, as the head of the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, was one of the architects of Cuomo’s economic-development efforts. (Kaloyeros has also denied the charges.) A lobbyist named Todd Howe appears to have played middleman (and bagman) in the scheme, and he has pleaded guilty and is coöperating against the others.

Cuomo himself is not charged in the case, and Bharara, in a news conference, said that the governor was not personally implicated in the alleged illegal activity. Cuomo said after the charges were filed that he was unaware of any improper behavior by his aides. But what would it say about Cuomo’s leadership if he did, indeed, turn over a major part of his power as governor to this motley collection of (alleged) crooks? When I profiled Cuomo, in 2015, I found that he was often portrayed by his subordinates as a control freak, fixated on putting his stamp on every corner of state government, but especially the Buffalo Billion. Either way—whether Cuomo did or did not know about the alleged rot in his midst—the verdict on his governorship would be a harsh one.

As for Bharara, whom I also recently profiled, the charges represent the chance for sweet vindication. When Cuomo shut down the Moreland Commission, a body that was supposed to be his own attempt to identify and limit corruption in Albany, Bharara tried but failed to make a case involving obstruction of justice on the part of the governor and his circle. Now Bharara has made a related case, if not against the governor himself.

But to what end? Through many years and scandals, the power structure in Albany has proved to be incapable of policing itself. In the year before the Percoco case, Bharara won convictions against the two most powerful legislators in the state, Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the Assembly, and Dean Skelos, the former majority leader of the State Senate. Little appears to have changed. Albany prosecutors, asleep at the switch, seem to be relying on Bharara, from his distant perch in Manhattan, to do their work for him. Cuomo, despite this embarrassment, is probably headed for a third term in 2018, in large part because the stable of plausible opponents is bare. Bharara keeps cutting off branches, but the tree of corruption in Albany, diseased and unsightly, still stands.

Sexual Harassment Claims Against Cuomo: What We Know So Far

Multiple women have accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior, prompting calls for his resignation.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is confronting the most tumultuous moment of his political career, after multiple women, including current and former state employees, accused him of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior.

The state attorney general, Letitia James, has opened an investigation into the claims and has named two outside lawyers to lead it.

Calls for Mr. Cuomo’s resignation have spread from Republicans to his fellow Democrats, and from Albany, the State Capitol, to Washington, with most of New York’s congressional delegation demanding that he step down.

The State Assembly, which, like the State Senate, is controlled by Mr. Cuomo’s fellow Democrats, has opened an impeachment inquiry to encompass the harassment allegations as well as questions about the Cuomo administration’s handling of coronavirus-related deaths of nursing home residents.

Mr. Cuomo has adamantly resisted calls for his resignation, suggesting that those pushing for him to do so are motivated by political differences and driven by so-called cancel culture.

He has apologized for acting “in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,” but he has said he did so unintentionally and has questioned the veracity of some of the accusations.

Beyond the specific harassment allegations, dozens of current and former employees have described the governor’s office more broadly as a toxic workplace, particularly for young women.

The harassment scandal and the nursing home issue have thrust Mr. Cuomo’s political future into uncertainty, even as he insists that he is focused on state budget negotiations and leading a battered New York back to normal.

Here’s what we know about the sexual harassment claims so far. (And here’s an overview of the nursing home scandal.)

Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old former aide to the governor, accused him of sexually harassing her last year. She told The New York Times that Mr. Cuomo, 63, had asked her about her sex life and whether she had ever had sex with older men.

On one occasion, Ms. Bennett said, she was alone with Mr. Cuomo at his State Capitol office when he asked whether she thought age mattered in romantic relationships. She took the remark as an overture to a sexual relationship.

“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Ms. Bennett told The Times.

Ms. Bennett said she reported the interaction to Mr. Cuomo’s chief of staff, provided a lengthy statement about it to a special counsel to the governor and was transferred to a different job. She left the administration in November.

In a statement, Mr. Cuomo described Ms. Bennett as a “hard-working and valued member” of his staff and said that he respected her “right to speak out.”

“I never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate,” he said.

Another former aide said the governor ‘kissed me on the lips’

Ms. Bennett’s allegations came shortly after another former administration aide, Lindsey Boylan, elaborated on sexual harassment accusations that she had first made against the governor in vague terms in Twitter posts in December.

In an online essay, Ms. Boylan, who worked at the state’s economic development agency from 2015 to 2018, detailed years of uncomfortable interactions with Mr. Cuomo.

Ms. Boylan, 36, said her boss at the time had told her Mr. Cuomo had a “crush” on her. She also said he had gone “out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs.”

In October 2017, Ms. Boylan wrote, Mr. Cuomo told her they should “play strip poker” during a flight from an event in Western New York. In 2018, she said, Mr. Cuomo gave her an unsolicited kiss at his Manhattan office.

“As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips,” wrote Ms. Boylan, who is running for Manhattan borough president.

The governor’s office has denied Ms. Boylan’s allegations.

Anna Ruch, 33, said she encountered Mr. Cuomo at a wedding in September 2019.

They had begun talking about a toast the governor had made when Mr. Cuomo put his hand on her bare lower back, Ms. Ruch said. When she removed it, she said, he said she seemed “aggressive,” placed his hands on her cheeks and asked if he could kiss her.

Ms. Ruch said she had pulled away as Mr. Cuomo drew closer.

“I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed,” said Ms. Ruch, who has never been employed by the governor or the state.

“It’s the act of impunity that strikes me,” Ms. Ruch said. “I didn’t have a choice in that matter.”

At first, Mr. Cuomo did not respond directly to her allegation. Instead, a spokesman cited an earlier statement in which the governor generally acknowledged that some things he had said had “been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.”

Immediately after the allegations first surfaced, Mr. Cuomo addressed them with a statement lamenting having made “playful” jokes and teased employees in what he thought was “a good-natured way.”

Eventually, he said he was embarrassed by his actions and he apologized, while also insisting that he had not meant to act improperly.

“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,” he said at a news briefing on March 3.

He also said he had “never touched anyone inappropriately.”

Asked about the episode recounted by Ms. Ruch, Mr. Cuomo said that kissing and hugging was his “usual and customary way of greeting.”

The Path to Governor Cuomo’s Resignation

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Plans to resign. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said Tuesday that he would resign from office amid a sexual harassment scandal. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be sworn in to replace him.

Multiple claims of sexual harassment. Eleven women, including current and former members of his administration, have accused Mr. Cuomo of sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviorAn independent inquiry, overseen by the New York State attorney general, corroborated their accounts. The report also found that he and aides retaliated against at least one woman who made her complaints public.

Nursing home Covid-19 controversy. The Cuomo administration is also under fire for undercounting the number of nursing-home deaths caused by Covid-19 in the first half of 2020, a scandal that deepened after a Times investigation found that aides rewrote a health department report to hide the real number.

Efforts to obscure the death toll. Interviews and unearthed documents revealed in April that aides repeatedly overruled state health officials in releasing the true nursing home death toll for months. Several senior health officials have resigned in response to the governor’s overall handling of the pandemic, including the vaccine rollout.

Will Cuomo still be impeached? The State Assembly opened an impeachment investigation in March. But after Mr. Cuomo announced his resignation, it was unclear whether the Assembly would move forward with its impeachment process. If Mr. Cuomo were impeached and convicted, he could be barred from holding state office again.

Looking to the future. Mr. Cuomo said on Tuesday that his resignation would take effect in 14 days, and that Ms. Hochul, a Democrat, would be sworn in to replace him. She will be the first woman in New York history to occupy the state’s top office.

“If they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” Mr. Cuomo said

A lawyer for Ms. Bennett, Debra S. Katz, said the governor’s remarks at the briefing were “full of falsehoods and inaccurate information.”

More accusations emerged after Cuomo’s apology

The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal subsequently published accounts from two other women who accused Mr. Cuomo of behaving inappropriately.

The Post account involved Karen Hinton, a paid consultant to Mr. Cuomo when he was the federal housing secretary. Ms. Hinton told The Post that Mr. Cuomo had given her an unsolicited “intimate embrace” after summoning her to a hotel room in 2000. She said she had resisted when he tried to do it a second time.

Mr. Cuomo denied Ms. Hinton’s account and called her “a longtime political adversary.”

The Journal report concerned Ana Liss, a former aide who said Mr. Cuomo had made her uncomfortable by kissing her on the hand and asking questions about her romantic life.

Mr. Cuomo said the exchange with Ms. Liss was consistent with the way he generally interacted with members of his staff.

The Times Union of Albany then reported that an aide who currently works for Mr. Cuomo had accused him of groping her in the Executive Mansion.

The woman, whom the newspaper did not identify, said she had been summoned to the governor’s private residence last year to help him with a technical issue. When they were alone on the second floor, he closed the door, reached under her blouse and began to touch her, the newspaper reported.

Albany police officials said the woman had not filed a formal complaint about the alleged episode, which they said might rise to “the level of a crime,” but that the State Police and members of Mr. Cuomo’s staff had notified the department about it.

Mr. Cuomo denied the allegation, saying he had “never done anything like this.”

On March 19, another current aide, Alyssa McGrath, told The Times that the woman who said Mr. Cuomo groped her at the Executive Mansion had described the encounter in detail to Ms. McGrath after the allegation became public. Ms. McGrath also said Mr. Cuomo had ogled her body and made suggestive comments to her and the other aide.

Yet another allegation of harassment emerged in a first-person essay in New York magazine by Jessica Bakeman, a former Albany reporter who described several instances when Mr. Cuomo was either physically inappropriate with her or publicly demeaned her.

The lawyers hired by Ms. James, a Democrat, to lead the investigation are a former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan and an employment-law specialist.

The inquiry’s scope could be broader than first anticipated. Investigators will have subpoena power to seek documents and compel witnesses, including the governor, to testify under oath. The inquiry may also scrutinize potential claims from other women. A final report could take months to produce.

Mr. Cuomo’s office has indicated that it would “cooperate fully” and that all state employees had been told to do so as well.

Elected officials from both parties have condemned Mr. Cuomo, called for an impartial investigation into the women’s allegations and demanded that he resign.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the State Senate’s majority leader, has said Mr. Cuomo should resign “for the good of the state.” Carl E. Heastie, the Assembly speaker, has directed a committee to open an inquiry that could lead to impeachment proceedings.

Kathy Hochul, who, as lieutenant governor, would succeed Mr. Cuomo if he were to leave office, has also called for an independent review.

On March 12, nearly every Democrat in New York’s congressional delegation, including Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, said that Mr. Cuomo had lost the ability to govern and should step down.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigns over sexual harassment allegations

NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation Tuesday over a barrage of sexual harassment allegations in a fall from grace a year after he was widely hailed nationally for his detailed daily briefings and leadership during some of the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By turns defiant and chastened, the 63-year-old Democrat emphatically denied intentionally mistreating women and called the pressure for his ouster politically motivated. But he said that fighting back in this “too hot” political climate would subject the state to months of turmoil.

“The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing,” Cuomo said in a televised address.

The third-term governor’s resignation, which will take effect in two weeks, was announced as momentum built in the Legislature to remove him by impeachment and after nearly the entire Democratic establishment had turned against him, with President Joe Biden joining those calling on him to resign.

The decision came a week after New York’s attorney general released the results of an investigation that found Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women.

Investigators said he subjected women to unwanted kisses; groped their breasts or buttocks or otherwise touched them inappropriately; made insinuating remarks about their looks and their sex lives; and created a work environment “rife with fear and intimidation.”

At the same time, Cuomo was under fire over the discovery that his administration had concealed thousands of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home patients.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a 62-year-old Democrat and former member of Congress from the Buffalo area, will become the state’s 57th governor and the first woman to hold the post. She said Cuomo’s resignation was “the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers.”

The #MeToo-era scandal cut short not just a career but a dynasty: Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo, was governor in the 1980s and ’90s, and the younger Cuomo was often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate. Even as the scandal mushroomed, he was planning to run for reelection in 2022.

Republicans exulted in Cuomo’s departure but still urged impeachment, which could prevent him from running for office again. “This resignation is simply an attempt to avoid real accountability,” state GOP chair Nick Langworthy said.

At the White House, Biden said: “I respect the governor’s decision.” At the same time, he said Cuomo had “done a helluva job” on infrastructure and voting rights, and “that’s why it’s so sad.”

“From the beginning, I simply asked that the governor stop his abusive behavior,” Lindsey Boylan, the first woman to accuse Cuomo publicly of harassment, tweeted Tuesday. “It became abundantly clear he was unable to do that, instead attacking and blaming victims until the end.”

Cuomo still faces the possibility of criminal charges, with a number of prosecutors around the state continuing to investigate him. At least one of his accusers has filed a criminal complaint.

The governor prefaced his resignation with a 45-minute defense from his lawyer and his own insistence that his behavior — while sometimes insensitive, off-putting or “too familiar” — had been used against him as a weapon in a political environment where “rashness has replaced reasonableness.”

“I am a fighter, and my instinct is to fight through this controversy because I truly believe it is politically motivated. I believe it is unfair and it is untruthful,” he said, but added that he didn’t want “distractions” to consume the state government as it grapples with the pandemic and other problems.

The string of accusations began in news reports last December and went on for months. Cuomo called some of the allegations fabricated and denied he touched anyone inappropriately. But he acknowledged making some aides uncomfortable with comments he said he intended as playful, and he apologized for some of his behavior.

He portrayed some encounters as misunderstandings attributable to “generational or cultural” differences, invoking his upbringing in an affectionate Italian American family.

The attorney general’s investigation backed up the women’s accounts and added lurid new ones, turning up the pressure on Cuomo. Investigators also said that the governor’s staff retaliated against Boylan by leaking confidential personnel files about her.

As governor, Cuomo proclaimed himself a “progressive Democrat” who gets things done: Since taking office in 2011, he helped push through legislation that legalized gay marriage, began lifting the minimum wage to $15 and expanded paid family leave benefits. He also backed big infrastructure projects, including a new Hudson River bridge that he named after his father.

At the same time he was engaging in the behavior that got him into trouble, he was publicly championing the #MeToo movement and surrounding himself with women’s rights activists. He signed into law sweeping new protections against sexual harassment and lengthened the statute of limitations in rape cases.

His resignation is “a testament to the growing power of women’s voices since the beginning of the #MeToo movement,” said Debra Katz, a lawyer for one of his accusers, Charlotte Bennett.

Cuomo’s national popularity soared during the harrowing spring of 2020, when New York was the lethal epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak and he became President Donald Trump’s chief antagonist in the minds of many Americans.

Cuomo’s tough-minded but compassionate rhetoric made for riveting television well beyond New York, as he sternly warned people to stay home and wear masks while Trump often brushed off the virus. Cuomo’s briefings won an international Emmy Award, and he went on to write a book on leadership in a crisis.

But those accomplishments were soon tainted when it emerged that the state’s official count of nursing home deaths had excluded many victims who had been transferred to hospitals before they succumbed. A Cuomo aide acknowledged the administration feared the true numbers would be “used against us” by the Trump White House.

Also, Cuomo’s administration was fiercely criticized for forcing nursing homes to accept patients recovering from the virus.

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the state’s handling of data on nursing home deaths. In addition, the state attorney general is looking into whether Cuomo broke the law in using members of his staff to help write and promote his book, from which he stood to make more than $5 million.

The governor also faced increasing criticism over his rough and sometimes vindictive treatment of fellow politicians and his own staff, with former aides telling stories of a brutal work environment.

Cuomo has been divorced since 2005 from author and activist Kerry Kennedy, a member of the Kennedy family, and was romantically involved up until 2019 with TV lifestyle personality Sandra Lee. He has three adult daughters and appealed to them as he stepped down.

“I want them to know, from the bottom of my heart: I never did, and I never would, intentionally disrespect a woman or treat any woman differently than I would want them treated,” he said. “Your dad made mistakes. And he apologized. And he learned from it. And that’s what life is all about.”

Cuomo got his start in politics as his father’s hard-nosed and often ruthless campaign manager, then was New York attorney general and U.S. housing secretary under President Bill Clinton before getting elected governor in 2010.

New York has seen a string of high-level politicians brought down in disgrace in recent years.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in 2008 in a prostitution scandal. Rep. Anthony Weiner went to prison for sexting with a 15-year-old girl. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stepped down in 2018 after four women accused him of abuse. And the Legislature’s top two leaders were convicted of corruption.


Well it is true, Cuomo went an did it. He caved into the pressure, which proves that he is a true bully. When the situation he chose the easy way out. He used the excuse that he was doing it for the people of the sate of New York. So where was this concern when he condemned thousands of elderly to grisly and lonely deaths in Nursing Homes throughout the state. I think he got off easy, whether or not he was guilty of sexual harassment, I don’t know. But his reign of bullying and terror are over. Les hope the Citizens of New York have better sense and elect someone more suitable.

Resources, “Andrew Cuomo,” By Wikipedia editors;, “What We Know About Cuomo’s Nursing Home Scandal: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has been accused of deliberately obscuring the full scope of nursing home deaths in New York. The F.B.I. is investigating.” By Michael Gold and Ed Shanahan;, “Was Governor Cuomo Responsible for the Death of Thousands of Nursing Home Inhabitants?,” By Ethan Yang;, “New York COVID-19 nursing home scandal,” By Wikipedia Editors;, “Andrew Cuomo’s Covid-19 nursing home fiasco shows the ethical perils of pandemic policymaking,” By Rachel Cohrs;, “DOJ declines to investigate Cuomo’s handling of covid-19 in nursing homes,” By Max Hauptman;, “The Andrew Cuomo scandal, explained,” By Andrew Prokop;, “Andrew Cuomo and the Corruption of Albany,” By Jeffrey Toobin;, “The Controversies Battering Andrew Cuomo: A Timeline of Events: The governor faces issues on multiple fronts — alleged verbal harassment of lawmakers, alleged sexual harassment of staffers and a federal probe into his administration’s handling of COVID in nursing homes;”, “NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation: A timeline of the sexual harassment allegations: “The best way I can help now is if I step aside.” By Marlene Lenthang;, “Sexual Harassment Claims Against Cuomo: What We Know So Far, Multiple women have accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior, prompting calls for his resignation.” By Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Mihir Zaveri;, “Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigns over sexual harassment allegations,” By MARINA VILLENEUVE;


The Controversies Battering Andrew Cuomo: A Timeline of Events

The governor faces issues on multiple fronts — alleged verbal harassment of lawmakers, alleged sexual harassment of staffers and a federal probe into his administration’s handling of COVID in nursing homes

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation Tuesday, effective in 14 days, after growing calls for him to step down, including from members of his own party, following a stunning report from an investigation by the state’s attorney general — a stunning turn for someone who not long ago was viewed as a frontrunner for the presidency in 2024.

What follows is a timeline of events ensnaring the governor:


13: A former Cuomo aide, Lindsey Boylan, accuses the governor of harassment. Cuomo denies her claims in full.


28: New York Attorney General Letitia James releases a scathing report saying that the state may have undercounted COVID-related nursing home deaths by thousands, and suggesting that Cuomo’s policies on returning COVID patients to nursing homes may have exacerbated the problem.

13: Comments emerge by a top aide to Cuomo, who allegedly told lawmakers the state “froze” on releasing data about COVID deaths in nursing homes because it feared the data would be used for a possible probe by Trump’s Department of Justice.
16: Cuomo admits mistakes in how the state handled death data in nursing homes but does not apologize.
17: Queens Assemblymember Ron Kim claims Cuomo threatened him in a raging phone call over Kim’s comments about Cuomo’s handling of COVID deaths in nursing homes. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio later calls such threats “classic Cuomo.”
18: Sources tell News 4 that the FBI and the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s Office have opened a probe into how the Cuomo administration handled nursing home data.
23: A Marist Poll shows a nearly 20-point drop in Cuomo’s approval rating, and a majority of voters say the state should elect a new governor next year.
24: The former aide, Boylan, accuses Cuomo of kissing her against her will and making inappropriate remarks. Cuomo vehemently denies the claim.
27A second aide, Charlotte Bennett, accuses Cuomo of sexual harassment. The governor names a former federal judge, Barbara Jones, to conduct a review. Leaders of the state Senate and Assembly demand an independent probe instead. At least two Democrats in the legislature call for Cuomo to resign.
28: More legislators call on Cuomo to resign. Influential Democrats in Congress demand an independent probe. Cuomo partially bows to a backlash over Jones’ appointment and instead asks Attorney General Tish James and Chief Judge Janet DiFiore to jointly pick a lawyer to conduct a review. Hours later, as the backlash deepens, Cuomo changes course again and accedes to James’ demand for a formal referral to create a special counsel with subpoena power. Cuomo, in a Sunday night statement, says he’s “truly sorry” if anything he said was construed as “unwanted flirtation” – but he denies inappropriate touching.

1: Another woman comes forward with accusations against Cuomo, this time from a 2019 wedding. Anna Ruch tells the New York Times that the governor touched the small of her exposed back and asked if he could kiss her within moments of meeting. The State Senate’s deputy majority leader, Michael Gianaris, says it’s an “open question” whether Cuomo can remain in office. De Blasio tells reporters “I think more truth will come out” as he again questions Cuomo’s alleged behavior. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refers to the “serious and credible” charges against the governor and reiterates the need for an independent probe. Prominent defense attorney Elkan Abramowitz confirms he is representing Cuomo and top aides in the federal nursing home probe.
2: The list of elected Democrats calling for Cuomo to resign rises to at least 17. The Working Families Party, on whose ballot line Cuomo won three gubernatorial elections, calls for him to resign. The state Democratic Committee’s youth organization, defying the committee’s own chairman, also calls on him to resign. A new Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll partly conducted after Boylan’s sexual harassment claim finds Cuomo’s national net favorability rating is now -11 percent, a 22-point decline. The wife of key Cuomo aide Gareth Rhodes — whose wedding Cuomo officiated — takes to Instagram to say “this pattern of behavior is completely unacceptable.”
3: The chairman of the state Senate’s investigations committee becomes at least the 20th elected Democrat to call on Cuomo to resign. A new poll conducted after Cuomo’s apology finds voters are evenly split on whether the governor should step down. The governor apologized again and said he will not resign. “The facts will come out” in the attorney general’s investigation, he said, reiterating his position that he “never knew at the time” that he was making anyone feel uncomfortable.
4: Charlotte Bennett, Cuomo’s second accuser, gives her first TV interview and describes being terrified by the governor. State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, reacting to the interview, says if there are any more accusations against Cuomo, he should resign. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal report that top Cuomo aides with no public health experience rewrote a Health Department report in July 2020 to remove data that showed COVID nursing home deaths were much higher than the state acknowledged. A Quinnipiac poll of NY voters conducted March 2-3 finds 55 percent do not want Cuomo to resign — but 59 percent don’t want him to run for a fourth term in 2022 either.
5: The New York legislature approved a bill to strip the governor of his pandemic-linked emergency powers. Republican critics have argued the “bogus bill” doesn’t go far enough. The bill now goes to Cuomo’s desk for him to sign; he has stated previously that he supports the legislation. The attorney general sent the governor’s office a notice to preserve records related to the ongoing sexual harassment investigation.
6: Two former aides, one from his time as HUD Secretary and one from the governor’s office, accuse Cuomo of inappropriate physical contact, bringing the number of harassment accusations against him to five. Cuomo’s office dismisses reports of a “toxic culture” on his team, saying he demands excellence from his staff.
7: The top Democrats in the state legislature questioned Cuomo’s ability to lead, hours after he delivered another staunch refusal step down from his post. State Senator Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins urged the governor to resign, saying that the scandals roiling Cuomo’s administration are hindering the function of government. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he agrees with Stewart-Cousins “regarding the Governor’s ability to continue to lead this state,” but stopped short of calling for his resignation. The Albany Times-Union reports the state made little effort to investigate an alleged safety cover-up in the construction of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, opening a new front in the governor’s woes and spurring calls for an investigation.
8: New York Attorney General Letitia James names two high-profile attorneys to investigate and document findings into the allegations of sexual harassment. Former acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim and and employment discrimination attorney Anne L. Clark will lead the investigations. A group of 21 female Assembly Democrats jointly issue a letter calling for the attorney general to be given the time to complete her probe.
9: A sixth woman, an Executive Chamber staffer, comes forward with allegations that Cuomo touched her inappropriately at the governor’s mansion in 2020, the Albany Times-Union reports. Richard Gottfried, the longest-serving member of the state legislature, calls on Cuomo to resign.
10: Details of the alleged closed-door encounter between Cuomo and a staffer at the governor’s mansion surface in a story in the Times Union of Albany. In the most serious allegation to come to light, the unnamed aide alleges she was alone with Cuomo in late 2020 when he reached under her shirt and fondled her. Cuomo says the details of the story are “gut-wrenching” and denies the allegation, saying “I have never done anything like this.”
11: New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie authorizes a committee to launch an impeachment investigation into Gov. Cuomo. The Assembly Judiciary Committee will have subpoena power, conduct interviews and review documents. That follows a group of 59 Democrat Assembly and Senate members jointly calling on Cuomo to resign. Multiple members of the Assembly chart a potentially new path in the response to the scandal, calling on Cuomo to temporarily step aside and let Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul serve as acting governor to negotiate the next budget. The entire Senate Republican conference jointly calls on Cuomo to resign.
12: Almost all of New York’s congressional delegation, including Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, call on Cuomo to resign. The number of state senators calling on Cuomo to step aside rises to 52 — enough to convict him in an impeachment trial. New York magazine reports two new accusations against the governor, including a young woman who Cuomo allegedly grabbed at a fundraiser, and a reporter who alleges Cuomo frequently put his hands on her. The New York Times cites interviews with 35 people who describe Cuomo’s office as toxic, including three people who claim they were denied promotions because they did not dress how he allegedly liked. A defiant Cuomo insists he won’t bow to “cancel culture” and won’t resign.
14: President Biden, in his first public comments on the Cuomo situation, says there’s an investigation pending and people should wait for the results. A new controversy erupts, as multiple outlets report that Cuomo’s vaccine czar called county executives to gauge their loyalty to the governor, prompting at least one to reportedly raise the matter with the attorney general’s office.
15: Attorneys for both Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett confirm their clients have already been interviewed at length by investigators for the special deputy AGs, less than a week after they were appointed. The White House says reports Cuomo’s vaccine czar called county executives on Cuomo’s political behalf are “inappropriate” and “concerning.”
16: President Biden tells ABC that Cuomo should resign if the AG’s investigation substantiates any of the claims against him. The president also says he believes Cuomo will likely face criminal prosecution. Assembly Speaker Heastie says the Assembly is poised to hire a law firm to conduct its impeachment probe. The New York Times reports an organized effort on the part of Cuomo allies to discredit Lindsey Boylan in late 2020 after she first accused the governor of harassment.
17: The state Assembly hires the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell to run its impeachment probe — including a partner, Greg Andres, who was part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team and put former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in prison. Lindsey Boylan says she won’t cooperate with the “sham” Assembly investigation, and Charlotte Bennett’s attorney says the choice of law firm gives her “pause” because of the firm’s ties to Cuomo allies. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, echoing Biden, says there will be “zero tolerance” if the probe into Cuomo finds any wrongdoing. Cuomo holds a call with reporters but refuses to answer questions about the probe and says he won’t resign.
18: A former AP reporter says Cuomo flirted with her when he was attorney general and she covered his office. “To be clear, Andrew Cuomo never touched me inappropriately or said anything that I felt I could report to my boss. He did make me uncomfortable, as did a lot of men in Albany,” Valerie Bauman tweeted. A third Cuomo accuser, Ana Liss, meets with investigators in the attorney general’s probe.
19: NBC New York obtains audio of a conversation between Cuomo and Working Families Party founder Bill Lipton in which Cuomo threatens to compare Lipton to a child rapist. (Cuomo’s office had previously denied he ever made the comment.) Later, the New York Times reports that Alyssa McGrath — the first Cuomo aide to make allegations and be named publicly — accused the governor of “ogling her body, remarking on her looks, and making suggestive comments to her and another woman in his office.” McGrath did not accuse Cuomo of making inappropriate contact, but described exchanges with the governor that she described as sexual harassment.
25: A report by the Times Union of Albany says Cuomo had members of his family get prioritized, special access to COVID testing during the early stages of the pandemic last year. The report states that the governor’s brother, mother and at least one of his sisters were among those who were tested by top Health Department officials, as well as other powerful officials like the heads of the MTA and Port Authority and their respective wives. Some were tested several times, the newspaper reported.
29: A married woman living in upstate New York accuses Cuomo of forcibly kissing her cheeks in an “overtly sexual” nature while touring flood damage in her neighborhood outside Rochester in May 2017. Sherry Vill, a married mother of three and ninth woman to allege misconduct by the governor, claims the governor assaulted her when he “forcibly” kissed both of her cheeks after entering her home, and called her “beautiful.” She is not calling for him to resign, instead saying she wants Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation to be completed.

1: A government watchdog group claims the Cuomo team illegally used campaign money to promote and sell his new book “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” — money which would go to Cuomo personally. In its complaint, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington showed past emails and social media posts where the Cuomo camp touted the book and asked people to buy copies. They are now calling for New York’s Board of Elections to immediately investigate.
7: Adding new details to the most serious accusation against Cuomo, the aide who accused him of groping her at the governor’s mansion says in her first public interview it was a frightening physical encounter in which the governor slammed a door and said “I don’t care” when she warned someone might see what he was doing. She said that Cuomo had been inappropriately hugging and flirting with her for years, grooming her with tight hugs and kisses on the cheek, but said this particular incident went even further. The governor reached under her blouse and his hand was grasping one of her breasts over her bra, according to the woman.
16: A hotline set up by investigators looking into the sexual harassment allegations has reportedly received more than 100 messages. The Manhattan law firm selected by the state Judiciary Committee is following up on relevant leads.
19: State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli formally asks the AG’s office to open a criminal probe of Cuomo’s book and potential misuse of state resources to produce and promote it. A new Siena College poll shows Cuomo’s favorability rating among registered voters at the lowest point of his 10 years in office, even as a majority of voters still oppose calls for his resignation.
29: The New York Times reports aides such as Melissa DeRosa and other actively tried to stop state health officials from sharing the latest COVID-19 death toll in nursing homes with the public or state lawmakers. Other steps to interfere allegedly included not publishing a scientific paper that incorporated the data, not sending a letter from the state Health Department to legislators, and holding onto an audit of the numbers for months before they became publicly known.

 Attorney general’s office reportedly interviews three Democratic county executives who say Larry Schwartz called to gauge their loyalty to the governor and whether they would urge him to resign.
14: Cuomo pushes back against allegations that he sexually harassed a staffer by suggesting harassment is in the ear of the listener and the intentions of the alleged harasser. “Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable — that is not harassment. If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that is not harassment. That’s you feeling uncomfortable,” he says.
20: The Washington Post reports CNN anchor Chris Cuomo participated in a series of strategy calls advising his brother on how to respond to numerous allegations of sexual misconduct. CNN told the Post that it was a mistake for Chris Cuomo to participate in the calls.
24: Cuomo’s favorability rises, as does the percentage of those who say they would vote to reelect him in a new Siena College poll. Registered voters say the Democrat should not resign by a 49-41 percent margin, compared to last month’s margin of 51-37 percent. The number who want him removed from office now reaches the highest level since they began asking voters.

 The governor confirms no campaign or personal funds will pay for lawyers. It’s unknown how much taxpayers will end up paying in all for legal costs stemming from wide-ranging allegations against Cuomo, but a $2.5 million contract has already been approved.
26: Some of the governor’s most reliable political contributors confirm they still plan to give money to his expected campaign for a fourth term. Cuomo has a $10,000 per-person fundraiser scheduled for June 29 in NYC.

 Cuomo was scheduled to be questioned by investigators in Albany as they near the end of a four-month process interviewing his accusers and turning over documents.
26: Speaking at his first news conference in nearly two weeks, Cuomo said he had “concerns as to the independence of the reviewers,” hired by the attorney general. The chair of the New York Assembly’s judiciary committee, Charles Lavine, wrote a letter to Cuomo last week warning his office to stop disparaging the investigators.

 The New York Times reports the investigators hired by the attorney general’s office interviewed the governor for 11 hours on July 17. 3: The attorney general’s report, which was made available to the public for the first time, found that the harassment claimed by a number of the governor’s accusers is in violation of state and federal law.

10: Exactly a week after the attorney general’s stunning report was made public, Cuomo announces he will resign effective in 14 days as he once again denied any wrongdoing regarding the sexual harassment scandal surrounding him and apologized to any women his actions may have offended.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation: A timeline of the sexual harassment allegations

“The best way I can help now is if I step aside.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that he will resign despite questioning the fairness of an investigation by State Attorney General Letitia James that found he sexually harassed multiple women, including current and former state employees.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that he will resign despite questioning the fairness of an investigation by State Attorney General Letitia James that found he sexually harassed multiple women, including current and former state employees.

“In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone,” Cuomo said during a televised news conference from his New York City office. But he also apologized for making women who have accused him of inappropriate behavior feel uncomfortable and for being out-of-step with the times by telling off-color jokes or calling women “honey, sweetheart or darling.”

He questioned the “credible factual basis” of James’ 168-page report, which included claims from 11 women. Cuomo also allegedly sought to retaliate against one of the accusers, Lindsey Boylan, a former aide in his administration, the report said.

“I think that given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing,” he said. “And, therefore, that’s what I’ll do because I work for you, and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you. Because as we say it’s not about me, it’s about we.”

Cuomo said his resignation will take effect in 14 days and New York state Lt. Gov. Kathleen Hochul will succeed him as governor.

Cuomo’s announcement came one week after James, a Democrat, released the results of a five-month investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against the governor.MORE: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigns after sexual harassment allegations, investigation

“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 report by James reads.

Several women — including Boylan, 36; Anna Ruch, 33; and Charlotte Bennett, 25 — have come forward to accuse the governor of unwanted advances.MORE: Meet Kathy Hochul, the woman who will make history as NY’s 1st female governor

The allegations added to Cuomo’s political woes as his administration is under investigation for its handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic.

Cuomo’s fall from public grace comes after he emerged early in the pandemic as a star among Democratic leaders for his handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Dec. 13, 2020

Boylan was the first to accuse the governor of sexual harassment and kissing her against her will.

In December, she wrote a series of tweets sharing her allegations for the first time.

She tweeted, “Yes [Cuomo] sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched.”

“I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks,” she continued. “Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years.”

At the time, the governor denied the accusations.

“I believe a woman has the right to come forward and express her opinion and express issues and concerns that she has,” Cuomo said in December. “But it’s just not true.”

Feb. 24

Boylan expanded on the allegations in a Medium piece in which she accused Cuomo of acting inappropriately with her when she worked for the state’s economic development agency.

Boylan said she first encountered the governor in January 2016 and her boss at the economic development agency informed her Cuomo had a “crush” on her.

In October 2017, Boylan alleged that Cuomo invited her to play strip poker as they were on a government plane together.MORE: Gov. Cuomo faces calls to resign from lawmakers after 3rd woman comes forward

One year later, Boylan said she was promoted to deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to the governor, a position she initially turned down “because I didn’t want to be near him.” She ultimately accepted following Cuomo’s insistence.

She also alleged that Cuomo kissed her on the lips without warning on one occasion in 2018 at his New York City office.

“As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips,” Boylan wrote. “I was in shock, but I kept walking.”

She resigned in September of that year.

“There is a part of me that will never forgive myself for being a victim for so long, for trying to ignore behavior that I knew was wrong,” Boylan said. “The Governor exploited my weaknesses, my desire to do good work and to be respected. I was made to believe this was the world I needed to survive in. … It was all so normalized … that only now do I realize how insidious his abuse was.”

When approached by The New York Times for comment on her claims, Cuomo’s press secretary, Caitlin Girouard, dismissed them as “quite simply false.”

Feb. 27

Bennett came forward to share her account to the Times in a story published Feb. 27.

She accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, alleging he asked questions about her sex life.

Bennett, who was first hired by Cuomo’s administration in early 2019, worked as an executive assistant and health policy adviser until November when she left his office.

Bennett alleged that on June 5 she was alone with Cuomo in his state Capitol office when he allegedly asked her questions about her personal life that she interpreted as insinuating a sexual relationship.

She claims he asked her if she thought age made a difference in romantic relationships, whether she was monogamous in her relationships and if she ever had sex with older men.

In that June meeting, she said Cuomo made her uncomfortable when he allegedly complained about being lonely in the pandemic and said he “can’t even hug anyone” and asked, “Who did I last hug?”

“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett told the Times. “And I was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”MORE: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo under investigation for nursing home deaths

She said she shared what happened with Cuomo’s chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, and was transferred less than a week later to another job within the administration in a different part of the Capitol. She also said she gave a statement to a special counsel to the governor that same month.

In the end, Bennett said she decided against pushing an investigation because she liked her new job and “wanted to move on.”

In response to her allegations, Cuomo stated in a press release: “I never made advances toward Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate. The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported.”

Cuomo said Bennett was a “valued member” of his staff with “every right to speak out” and he disclosed that Bennett had spoken to him about being a survivor of sexual assault.

Bennett left state government in the fall and now lives and works in a neighboring state.

The same day Bennett’s account was published, the governor named former federal judge Barbara Jones to conduct a review of the claims. However, the move faced backlash and state leaders demanded a more independent probe.

Feb. 28

Cuomo bent to pressure and asked New York Attorney General Letitia James for a formal referral to create a special counsel with subpoena power to investigate the claims against him.

He issued a statement Sunday saying, “I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm.”

He added that some of his comments “may have been insensitive or too personal,” “made others feel in ways I never intended” and “have been misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation.”

“To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to,” he said.

That same day, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has clashed with the governor in the past, issued a statement denouncing Cuomo’s alleged behavior, saying, “the State legislature must immediately revoke the Governor’s emergency powers that overrule local control.” He called for two fully independent investigations into the personal misconduct allegations and deaths at nursing homes.

New York state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi also denounced the governor’s behavior, telling ABC News his alleged behavior was “inappropriate.” She had called on the governor to resign on Feb. 27.

“It’s abusive and it scares people because it’s terrifying and the governor of New York should not be acting that way,” Biaggi said.

March 1

The New York Times published an account of alleged misconduct from Ruch. Unlike Boylan and Bennett, she did not work with Cuomo.

She met him at a wedding reception in New York City in September 2019 and alleged Cuomo placed his hands on her bare lower back and face and “asked if he could kiss her.” She also shared a photo of the alleged incident with the paper.

She said the incident left her “uncomfortable and embarrassed” and she felt she “didn’t have a choice in that matter.” Cuomo ended up kissing her on the cheek, according to Ruch.

James also announced on Monday that her office would begin an independent investigation, which included subpoena power, into allegations of sexual harassment against the governor. James’ office told ABC News Monday evening it read Ruch’s account in the Times and will decide whether to incorporate it into the just-launched investigation.

March 2

Rep. Kathleen Rice has become the first New York Democrat in Congress to join mounting calls for Cuomo to resign in wake of the allegations.

Six Democratic state lawmakers also called for Cuomo to be impeached.

In a statement shared with ABC News, the lawmakers said Cuomo used his power to “belittle, bully and harass his employees and colleagues” and impeachment proceedings “are the appropriate avenue” for accountability. It further states Cuomo’s withholding of information in regards to nursing home deaths is “sufficient to justify impeachment proceedings.”

The New York Attorney General’s Office opted to incorporate Ruch’s account into the ongoing investigation into Cuomo, a source familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The attorney general’s office will not limit the scope of the probe in case additional allegations surface. At the end of the investigation, a public report will be released.

By evening, the State Assembly and State Senate prepared a bill to curb Cuomo’s emergency powers granted during the pandemic. It will still allow Cuomo to extend existing emergency directives related to the pandemic but repeal other emergency powers.

“The legislation introduced today will repeal the temporary emergency powers immediately, while allowing executive actions critical to public health to remain,” state officials said in a statement.

March 6

Karen Hinton, a former press aide to Cuomo, claimed he behaved inappropriately with her when she worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her account was published by The Washington Post on March 6.

She claimed Cuomo, summoned her to his dimly lit hotel room in Los Angeles and told the Post he embraced her with a “too long, too tight, too intimate” hug after a work event in December 2000.

Hinton, who was married at the time, claimed she pulled away from Cuomo, “but he pulled her back toward his body,” according to the Post.

“I thought at that moment it could lead to a kiss, it could lead to other things, so I just pull away again, and I leave,” Hinton said to the Post.

Hinton’s second husband, Howard Glaser, worked for Cuomo at HUD. He served as a top deputy to Cuomo in the governor’s mansion for five years.

Also, on Saturday, a fifth woman, Ana Liss, who served as a policy and operations aide to Cuomo from 2013 to 2015, came forward with allegations against Cuomo that were published by The Wall Street Journal.

She said the governor asked her if she had a boyfriend, called her sweetheart, touched her on her lower back at a reception and once kissed her hand as she rose from her desk.

“It’s not appropriate, really, in any setting,” Liss said to the Journal.

Cuomo’s director of communications, Peter Ajemian, denied Hinton’s account to the Post, saying: “This did not happen. Karen Hinton is a known antagonist of the Governor’s who is attempting to take advantage of this moment to score cheap points with made-up allegations from 21 years ago,” Ajemian said. “All women have the right to come forward and tell their story — however, it’s also the responsibility of the press to consider self-motivation. This is reckless.”

March 9

The Albany Times-Union reported that a sixth woman, a current member of the governor’s Executive Chamber staff, accused Cuomo of inappropriate conduct.

The staffer, who has not been named, accused the governor of inappropriately touching her late last year during an encounter at the governor’s mansion after she had been summoned there to do work.

She had not filed a formal complaint with the governor’s office. Her claims were recently reported to the governor’s counsel by other Executive Chamber employees, the Times-Union reported.

Cuomo said he was unaware of the sixth claim against him during a Tuesday call with reporters.

“I’m not aware of any other claim. As I said last week, this is very simple. I never touched anyone inappropriately. As I said last week I never made any inappropriate advances. No one ever told me at the time I made them feel uncomfortable,” Cuomo said.

On Wednesday, he followed that up with a statement, saying, “As I said yesterday, I have never done anything like this. The details of this report are gut-wrenching. I am not going to speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation given the ongoing review, but I am confident in the result of the Attorney General’s report.”

March 11

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Thursday that the Assembly Judiciary Committee would begin an impeachment investigation.

“After meeting with the Assembly Majority Conference today, I am authorizing the Assembly Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation, led by Chair Charles D. Lavine, to examine allegations of misconduct against Governor Cuomo,” Heastie said in a statement. “The reports of accusations concerning the governor are serious. The committee will have the authority to interview witnesses, subpoena documents and evaluate evidence, as is allowed by the New York State Constitution.”

“I have the utmost faith that Assemblymember Lavine and the members of the committee will conduct an expeditious, full and thorough investigation,” he added. “This inquiry will not interfere with the independent investigation being conducted by Attorney General James.”

The investigation would be the first step in a bid to impeach the governor. But while the Assembly investigation may start the legislature down the path toward impeachment, it also has a stalling effect. It gives the Assembly speaker control of the process and staves off calls for an immediate resolution.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said the Assembly investigation will not conflict with the one her office is leading.

“Today’s action by the New York state legislature will have no bearing on our independent investigation into these allegations against Governor Cuomo. Our investigation will continue,” she said in a statement.

At least 121 members of the state Assembly and Senate, including 65 Democrats and 56 Republicans, have said Cuomo should resign, according to a count by The Associated Press.

March 12

Jessica Bakeman, who worked as a part of the Capitol press corp while working for Politico New York in 2014, accused Cuomo of behaving inappropriately with her in a first-person piece for The Cut published March 12.

She claimed that during a 2014 holiday party at the Executive Mansion, Cuomo grabbed her hand and refused to let go. Instead he “put his other arm around my back, his hand on my waist, and held me firmly in place while indicating to a photographer he wanted us to pose for a picture.”

He allegedly said to her, “Am I making you uncomfortable? I thought we were going steady.” She was 25 at the time.

She wrote: “I never thought the governor wanted to have sex with me. It wasn’t about sex. It was about power. … He wanted me to know that he could take my dignity away at any moment with an inappropriate comment or a hand on my waist.”

“The way Cuomo operates is by daring women to make an impossible choice: endure his abuse silently or speak up and risk your career,” she added.

The governor’s attorney did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment on this allegation. But Cuomo has generally denied any of the new allegations against him and urged the public to wait for the results of the attorney general’s investigation.

March 18

Bloomberg reporter Valerie Bauman tweeted on March 18 that she observed “rampant sexism and sexual harassment” during Cuomo’s tenure as New York Attorney General, from 2007 to 2010, when she covered Albany for The Associated Press. She was 25 at the time.

She said Cuomo never touched her inappropriately or said anything she felt she could report to her boss, but “he did make me uncomfortable, as did a lot of men in Albany.”

She said the current governor “did appear to take an interest in me.”

During one press conference in 2007 he made “unwavering eye contact.” After the event he “beelined” for her. “He took my hand, entered my personal space and looked into my eyes as he announced, ‘Hello, I’m Andrew Cuomo,'” Bauman wrote.

Shortly after that meeting, a Cuomo staffer called her and asked if she had an interest in working for the attorney general’s office. She declined.

Cuomo’s lawyer did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment on Bauman’s claims.

March 19

Alyssa McGrath, 33, was the first current Cuomo employee to come forward.

In a March 19 piece in The New York Times, she claimed Cuomo would ogle her body, remark on her looks, call her beautiful in Italian and make suggestive comments to both her and another executive aide.

She did not accuse the governor of making sexual contact with her, but she told the Times she believed his actions amounted to sexual harassment.

McGrath said the anonymous current aide who accused Cuomo of groping her in the Executive Mansion, as reported by the Times-Union, described the encounter to her. She said the aide told her the governor asked her to not talk about the alleged incident.

Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, responded to McGrath’s allegations to the Times by saying that Cuomo “has greeted men and women with hugs and a kiss on the cheek, forehead, or hand. Yes, he has posed for photographs with his arm around them. Yes, he uses Italian phrases like ‘ciao bella.'”

“None of this is remarkable, although it may be old-fashioned. He has made clear that he has never made inappropriate advances or inappropriately touched anyone,” she added.

McGrath’s lawyer told ABC News: “The governor’s deflections are not credible. This was not just friendly banter. Ms. McGrath understands the common phrase ‘ciao Bella.’ As she herself says: ‘I would not call my parents to find out what that phrase means. I know what that phrase means.'”

March 29

Another woman, Sherry Vill, 55, came forward on March 29 in a press conference with attorney Gloria Allred with allegations that the governor inappropriately touched and kissed her in 2017.

Cuomo met with her during a tour of flood damage near her town in Greece, New York, Vill said. The governor took her by the hand, pulled her in and kissed her on both cheeks, Vill said.

“That’s what Italians do, kiss both cheeks,” the governor allegedly told Vill.

Vill described the incident as being “manhandled” and called the encounter “uncomfortable.” She said that she was afraid to come forward sooner because she feared retaliation.

She said she was not pressing charges or filing suit for this incident but was planning to meet with the state attorney general to discuss the matter.

Allred shared photos of Vill with Cuomo from the tour and a screenshot from a video where Cuomo appears to kiss Vill’s cheek.

“During times of crisis, the governor has frequently sought to comfort New Yorkers with hugs and kisses,” Glavin said. “As I have said before, the governor has greeted both men and women with hugs, a kiss on the cheek, forehead or hand for the past 40 years.”

April 7

On April 7, the female aide who alleged Cuomo groped her inside the Governor’s Mansion in November discussed the alleged incident with the Albany Times-Union.

The woman, a current aide to the governor who’s remained anonymous, claimed Cuomo “groomed her” for two years with a pattern of tight hugs and kisses on the cheek.

She said that one time he said to her, “Oh, if you were single, the things that I would to do you,” she told the newspaper.

The woman said to the paper that she was summoned to the mansion on a weekday in November last year to help Cuomo with an iPhone problem. When she reached his office on the second floor, he allegedly rose from his desk and groped her.

“That wasn’t just a hug,” she said. “He went for it and I kind of like was, ‘Oh, the door is right there.’ … I was mortified that a woman who works here is going to come in and see. … I was terrified of that happening, because that’s not who I am and that’s not what I’m here for.”

She said she told him, “You’re going to get us in trouble” and he allegedly proceeded to slam the door and said, “I don’t care” and he approached her a second time. This time he “reached under her blouse and his hand was grasping one of her breasts over her bra,” she said.

She said she didn’t remember telling him “stop,” but she did tell him, “You’re crazy,” which led him to finally stop.

“It definitely was a hit to his ego,” she told the paper. “And then it was almost like instantly he was done. … He turned around and walked back to his desk. He didn’t say anything. I walked myself out to the front door and nothing was said.”

A month after the incident, he allegedly told her to stay silent about the encounter.

She said she interpreted those comments as a threat. “I was a liability, and he knew that,” she said.

Rita Glavin, Cuomo’s attorney, told ABC News in response to this allegation, “The people of New York know the governor — he has spent 40 years in public service and in the public eye. He has repeatedly made clear that he never made inappropriate advances or inappropriately touched anyone.”

“The attorney general’s review of this claim and others, including evolving details and new public statements by complainants or their surrogates, must be thorough, fair and provide the truth,” she added.

Aug. 3

State Attorney General Letitia James announces the results of a four-month investigation into the allegations and releases a 168-page report finding that Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, including current and former state employees.

At a news conference, employment discrimination attorney Anne Clark, one of the investigators assigned to lead the probe, presented a litany of findings from the report, including specific examples of the governor allegedly making suggestive comments and engaging in unwanted touching that 11 women — some named, others anonymous — found “deeply humiliating and offensive.”

In one instance, the report describes how Cuomo sexually harassed a state trooper assigned to his protective detail, including “running his hand across her stomach, from her belly button to her right hip, while she held a door open for him at an event” and “running his finger down her back, from the top of her neck down her spine to the middle of her back, saying ‘Hey, you,’ while she was standing in front of him in an elevator.”

Clark said Cuomo met with investigators for 11 hours in July and offered “a combination” of denials and admissions.

“There are some incidents he admitted to but had a different interpretation of,” Clark said, “and there were other things that he denied or said he didn’t recall.”

Aug. 8

Melissa DeRosa resigns as Cuomo’s top aide. As secretary to the governor, DeRosa was the most powerful unelected bureaucrat in state government and stood loyally by Cuomo even through the sexual harassment scandal and allegations of undercounting nursing home deaths from COVID and the governor’s alleged use of state resources to write his book.

“The past two years have been emotionally and mentally trying,” DeRosa said in her resignation statement.

Aug. 9

The New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee said it will hold hearings through the remainder of the month to review evidence against Cuomo as well as hear expert testimony surrounding sexual harassment and the standards for impeachment.

Aug. 10

Cuomo, New York’s 56th governor of the state of New York, announces he will resign. He said he sees “the world through the eyes of my daughters” and now realizes why his throwback behavior made women uncomfortable in the #MeToo era.

He said he wanted his daughters to know that he never “intentionally disrespected women.”

“Your dad made mistakes, and he apologized,” Cuomo said.

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