NEW YORK (AP) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo continued to defend himself against “unfair” and “untrue” allegations of sexual harassment on Tuesday, even as he announced his resignation from office.
But the 63-year-old Democrat said he realized he would lose his fight to stay in office and step down from his love for the state and its people.
Here is an excerpt from his declaration of resignation:
“Part of being New York tough is being New York smart. New York Smart tells us that this situation and moment is not about the facts. It’s not about the truth. It’s not about a thoughtful analysis. It’s not about how we improve the system. This is about politics, and our political system is too often driven to extremes today. Frenzy has replaced adequacy. Loudness has replaced solidity. Twitter has become a public space for political debate. There is a wise discussion about gender-specific action, about generation and culture differences, about setting higher standards and finding sensible solutions. But the political environment is now too hot and too reactionary for that. And it’s a shame.
Well you know me, I’m a New Yorker, born and raised. I am a fighter and my instinct is to fight this controversy through because I really believe that it is politically motivated. I think it’s unfair and it’s untrue. And I believe it demonizes behaviors that are unsustainable for society. If I could communicate the facts through the frenzy, New Yorkers would understand, I believe. But when I took my oath as governor, that changed. I became a fighter, but I became a fighter for you. And it is your best interest that I must serve.
In its current development, this situation will trigger months of political and legal controversy. That will happen. That’s how the political wind blows. It will consume the government. It will cost taxpayers millions of dollars. It will brutalize people. The State Assembly yesterday outlined a week-long process that will then result in months of litigation, time, and money the government will spend on managing COVID, protecting against the Delta variant, reopening the state, fighting gun violence, and bailing out New York City should spend. All that time would be wasted. This is one of the toughest times for government in a generation. The government really has to work today. Government has to perform. It is a matter of life and death, government business and wasting energy on distractions is the last thing the state government should do. And I can’t be the cause of it.
New York hard means New York loving. And I love New York and I love you And everything I’ve ever done has been motivated by that love. And I would never want to be unhelpful in any way. And I think the best thing I can do now, given the circumstances, is to step aside and let the government rule again. And that’s why I will do this because I work for you and doing the right thing for you is. Because as I said, it’s not about me, it’s about us. Kathy Hochul, my lieutenant governor, is smart and competent. This transition must be seamless. We have big plans. I’m very worried about the Delta variant, and so should you. But she can get fit again quickly and my resignation will take effect in 14 days. “