The New York Senate majority leader joins growing Democratic calls for Governor Andrew Cuomo to step down

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The walls join New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Powerful Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins ​​called for her Democratic counterpart’s resignation on Sunday after two other former aides came forward for improper conduct by the governor, including one who accused Cuomo of more than one undesirable in a Los Angeles hotel room Having made sexual progress Two decades ago she worked for him as a paid counselor.

Stewart-cousins’ decision to join a growing number of state-democratic lawmakers who are pushing for Cuomo, who has repeatedly denied touching anyone inappropriately, to step down added pressure on the three-time governor than he was his governed state capital got under control decade seems to be slipping. Cuomo said again on Sunday that he would not step down, but when Stewart’s cousins ​​broke off from the governor, he escalated the stalemate further, focusing again on Sens. Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, and Kirsten Gillibrand as the die democratic hierarchy of state considering how to respond to the ongoing stream of accusations.

Schumer refused to say on Sunday whether Cuomo should step down, but again expressed confidence in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into the allegations.

“I have a lot of confidence in her,” said Schumer. “I believe she will turn every stone and I believe that she will make sure there is no outside interference.”

Cuomo said in a press conference just before Stewart-Cousins ​​released their statement that he would not resign and suggested that they do so before the attorney general’s investigation was completed – a process that could take months – and “undemocratic” would be one Rejection of due process.

But Stewart-Cousins, who had previously said Cuomo should resign if another prosecutor comes forward, had seen enough. In a statement to CNN on Sunday, she asked if the governor could effectively run the state amid twin scandals – one related to sexual harassment allegations and one related to his office’s handling of Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes, which erupted after James found the state systematically undercounted deaths among residents of the facilities.

“For the good of the state, Governor Cuomo must resign,” said Stewart-Cousins.

New York State Assembly spokesman Carl Heastie, also a Democrat, reiterated Stewart’s cousins’ concerns in a tweet, describing the allegations against Cuomo as “deeply worrying.”

“We have many challenges to face,” Heastie continued, “and I think it is time the governor gave serious thought to whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York.”

Stewart cousins ​​called Cuomo less than an hour before his hastily announced press call on Sunday morning to inform the governor that they could no longer support him and planned to demand his resignation, according to a source reporting on the Conversation was informed.

According to the source, Cuomo told lawmakers to listen to the press call – meanwhile, he told reporters he had not resigned.

“There are some lawmakers suggesting that I resign over allegations made against me. I was elected by the people of the state. I wasn’t elected by politicians. I will not resign because of allegations, “said Cuomo in the press conference.

Despite the protests of the governor and his top aides, the chorus of well-known New York Democrats who are calling for his overthrow is growing. State Sens. Rachel May and Liz Krueger repeated Stewart cousins. Also on Sunday, New York Comptroller Scott Stringer joined two other mayoral candidates, Maya Wiley and Kathryn Garcia, who had previously said Cuomo should step down. Stringer urged lawmakers to initiate impeachment proceedings if he failed to do so. Mark Levine, a New York City councilor who chairs the health committee, also said Cuomo should step down.

Stewart’s cousins’ statement came less than 24 hours after former advisor and advisor Karen Hinton accused the governor of improper conduct in a Washington Post report released Saturday.

Hinton was working as a consultant to Cuomo while at the Department of Housing and Urban Development when she told CNN on Sunday that he invited her to his hotel room while on a trip to Los Angeles. Inside, Hinton said, Cuomo asked her about their marriage and related personal issues before hugging her, which caused her to feel “uncomfortable” and to get up to leave.

“I thought it was too tight for too long and I felt it was too intimate and I could tell he was aroused and I pulled back,” Hinton said, adding that she “wasn’t pulling back aggressively “.

“I just went away and said, ‘It’s time for me to go,’ and he pulls me back and I said, ‘No. I’m really tired. I’m going back to my room, “and I went, and we never talked about it again,” Hinton claimed.

Peter Ajemian, Cuomo’s communications director, denied Hinton’s claims in a statement to CNN, saying, “This did not happen.”

“Karen Hinton is a well-known governor’s antagonist who is trying to seize this moment to score cheap points on trumped-up charges from 21 years ago. All women have the right to stand up and tell their story – but it is also the press’ responsibility to think about self-motivation. It’s inconsiderate, ”said Ajemian.

“Every woman has the right to report. That’s true. But the truth is also important. What she said is not true, ”said the governor, addressing the allegations.

A friend of Hinton’s, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity, said Hinton called her after what the friend called “the hotel incident.”

“She called me and just said you won’t believe what just happened,” the friend said, adding that Hinton told her Cuomo hugged her and was aroused and it “freaked her out”.

Hinton stood by her allegation in a statement to CNN following Cuomo’s statements, comparing him to former President Donald Trump.

“The truth is the ‘longtime adversary’ Cuomo fears most,” said Hinton. “Trump may have disappeared, but Cuomo has followed directly in his footsteps by blaming the abused for his own abusive behavior.”

Hinton’s report followed that of a number of other women, including one Cuomo met at a wedding as recently as 2019 and accused the governor of inappropriate behavior.

Ana Liss, another former employee, told the Wall Street Journal in a report published Saturday that the governor asked her if she had a boyfriend, named her sweetheart, touched her lower back at a reception, and kissed her hand once as she got up from her desk. “

During the press conference on Sunday, Cuomo said his interactions with Liss were akin to those he had with dozens of staff over several decades, adding again, “I never wanted anyone to feel unwelcome in any way.”

“If the customs change, I will change the customs and behavior,” said the governor. “But I never wanted to feel – make someone feel uncomfortable.”

The firestorm that has ravaged New York politics for the past ten days began on February 24 when former aide Lindsey Boylan claimed in a Medium post that Cuomo had her against her will in 2018 after a brief one-on-one interview Lips kissed a meeting in his New York City office. She also wrote that a year earlier he had suggested “playing strip poker” on a small plane flight from an event in West New York.

Cuomo’s spokesperson, Caitlin Girouard, dismissed the report, saying: “Ms. Boylan’s allegations of inappropriate behavior are simply false. “(Girouard has since confirmed that she is leaving Cuomo’s private sector office but said the decision was made both before the release of the Nursing Homes report and before public allegations of sexual harassment.)

Days later, Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old former executive assistant and health policy advisor at Cuomo, initially told the New York Times that the governor had asked her a series of personal questions and was open to relationships with women in her area’s 20s .

“I thought he was trying to sleep with me. The governor is trying to sleep with me. And I’m deeply uncomfortable and need to get out of this room as soon as possible, ”Bennett said in an interview with CBS News.

Bennett also said she reported the incident to Cuomo’s chief of staff and was subsequently transferred from the governor’s office to a different position across from the Capitol. Her attorney Debra Katz sent a letter to the attorney general on Friday requesting that all documents and records of conversations related to her client’s complaint be kept “unchanged”.

Cuomo denied the allegations in a statement released shortly after the Times’ first report, saying he believed he acted as a mentor and “never made any progress with Ms. Bennett, nor did I intend, in an inappropriate way to act. ”

Another woman, Anna Ruch, came forward on March 1, accusing Cuomo of making an unwanted advance on her after they met at a wedding in 2019.

Ruch told The Times that she thanked Cuomo for his toast to the newlyweds before placing his hands on her lower back, which was exposed from her dress. The governor then put both hands on Rauch’s face and asked if she could kiss it in a report verified by Ruch’s friend, which CNN does not name due to concerns the friend had raised in the course of his professional life.

Cuomo apologized for making people uncomfortable during a press conference last week, but denied making inappropriate physical contact.

“I have never touched anyone inappropriately,” said Cuomo in his first public statements on the scandal. “I never knew then that I was making someone feel uncomfortable.”

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