Most New Yorkers are not satisfied with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, and want the Democrat to be criminally charged after the attorney general’s office found him guilty of sexual harassment.
Opinion consulting firm Data for Progress published a new poll, showing 52% of respondents support charging Cuomo with criminal misconduct for sexually harassing 11 female civil servants.
Only 29% did not want the governor to face criminal charges while 19% were undecided.
An overwhelming 78% believe the attorney general’s report is “somewhat” or “very” credible, and 63% support legislators voting to impeach the Democrat. The poll was conducted between August 6 and 11, before Cuomo announced he would step down from public office.
The governor’s resignation takes effect on Aug. 24. The announcement came just a week after New York Attorney General Letitia James (Working Families) confirmed the authenticity of several complaints about Cuomo sexually harassing women in his entourage.
Investigators agree the Democrat subjected the women to unwanted kisses, touching of breasts or buttocks, and inappropriate comments about their appearance and sex lives. This allegedly created a work environment “rife with fear and intimidation.”
He acknowledged the state Legislature cannot effectively govern if he stays in office.
“The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let the government get back to governing,” he said at the time.
Although Cuomo rejected claims he inappropriately touched anyone, he admits to always “joking around” with women. He still refuses to accept wrongdoing, and blames the entire incident on a changing workplace culture and political rivals who wanted to bring him down.
The New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) responded to the governor’s resignation by abandoning a proposed impeachment trial on Aug. 13. Heastie claimed impeachment was no longer important.
Cuomo’s decision to leave on his own terms means he can still run for office again in the future, including a gubernatorial election.
Some lawmakers believe Cuomo should still be impeached after leaving office. Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim, who has been a vocal opponent of the governor, vowed to release a legal brief that argues for impeachment.
At least one whistleblower has filed a complaint against Cuomo, who still faces possible criminal charges. Several prosecutors across the Empire State are still investigating different judicial options.