“New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it,” Stewart-Cousins wrote in a statement. “We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.”
Shortly after Stewart-Cousins’s statement was released, Heastie announced that he “shares the sentiment.”
“We have many challenges to address, and I think it is time for the governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York,” Heastie said.
Responding to The Post’s request for comment about the leaders’ remarks, Cuomo’s office echoed the governor’s defiant rejection of resignation calls in a news briefing Sunday.
Cuomo told reporters that stepping down would “anti-democratic.” He also rebutted the claims against him of the former staff members, including Karen Hinton, a former press secretary for Cuomo during his time at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Hinton told The Post that she was summoned to a hotel room in 2000 after a work event and allegedly hugged by Cuomo for an uncomfortable period.
When asked whether she viewed the alleged encounter as harassment, Hinton did not explicitly describe it that way but said there was a “power dynamic” at play, even though she was a consultant at the time, not an employee. “It was the same to me,” Hinton said, adding that she was concerned about “the personal and professional problems that could have been created.” She described Cuomo’s move as a “power play” for “manipulation and control.”
Cuomo dismissed Hinton’s claims on Sunday, calling her a longtime adversary, a reference to her time working as a press secretary for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Hinton responded that she had no plans to run for office or work for anybody who would run against Cuomo.
Cuomo did not deny an accusation by Ana Liss, who worked in his executive chambers between 2013 and 2015, that he touched her on her lower back at a reception and posed for a picture. He said it was “common practice” to take pictures with people at ceremonial events.
He said that other state lawmakers demanding his resignation or impeachment were politically motivated and that he planned to wait for the conclusion of an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) into the claims against Cuomo. A coalition of women’s rights and sexual abuse survivor advocates had asked James to adopt rules to protect accusers and avoid political interference in the investigation — and demanded Cuomo’s resignation if the claims were upheld.
There is also a federal investigation into the number of nursing home deaths reported by the Cuomo administration.
“There is no way I resign,” Cuomo said Sunday. “Let’s do the attorney general investigation, let’s get the findings, and then we’ll go from there.”
Responding to his comments, Hinton said, “Truth is the ‘longtime adversary’ that Cuomo fears the most.”
Former president Donald Trump “may be gone, but Cuomo has stepped right into his shoes by blaming the abused for his own abusive behavior,” she said.