An American lawyer and politician, Andrew Cuomo, served as the 56th governor of New York from 2011 to 2021. Cuomo is a member of the Democratic party and was the longest-tenured governor in the U.S.
Cuomo resigned from office due to several allegations of sexual misconduct in 2021.
Born to a lawyer and later- to- become governor of New York, Mario Cuomo and his wife Matilda. Andrew Cuomo comes from Italian family background. Cuomo has four siblings.
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.
Ascent to the post of NYC governor
The New York Daily News on January 23, 2010, hinted that Cuomo would announce plans to run for governor at the end of March. Reports later emerged stating that Cuomo’s announcement would coincide with the State Democratic Convention in May. On May 22, 2010, Cuomo announced his candidature for governor via a video posted on his campaign website. Robert Duffy, mayor of Rochester, was Cuomo’s choice for lieutenant governor.
In the general election in November that year, Cuomo stood against a businessman from Buffalo who had the passionate support of the Tea Party Movement, Republican Carl Paladino. Cuomo got a landslide victory in the election, garnering 62.2% votes.
Cuomo announced candidature again in 2014 against Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
Cuomo was re-elected for his second term with 54% of the vote on November 4, 2014. Astorino received 40.6% of the vote.
Despite the low voter turnout, Cuomo bagged re-election by a comfortable margin of votes, albeit a little narrower than his last election.
Cuomo was challenged in the primary left by actress and activist Cynthia Nixon.
Cuomo again emerged victorious, bagging a total of 65.5% votes against Nixon’s 34.5%.
May 2019 saw Cuomo’s announcement for a fourth re-run at the NYC gubernatorial elections. Cuomo was, however, unable to stand for elections this time because he resigned amidst sexual assault allegations.
Cuomo’s resignation is shrouded in controversy.
The deluge of sexual assault allegations against Cuomo began with a former aide for Cuomo who was a Democratic candidate for Manhattan Borough president in 2021, Lindsey Boylan stating,
“Cuomo] sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched. He exists without ethics and takes advantage of people, including me, and also runs a toxic team environment”.
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.
On March 1, Ana Ruch, who was not part of the governor’s staff, alleged that Cuomo had inappropriately touched her at a wedding reception both of them were attendees of. The New York Times also printed a picture of Cuomo with his hands on Ruch’s face while reporting the event.
Ana Liss came forward on March 6 and alleged that Cuomo had touched her lower back inappropriately and also kissed her hand.
The same day, Karen Hinton, a former consultant of Cuomo when he was leading the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, also stated that Cuomo asked her personal questions and hugged her against her will in a hotel room in 2000.
The March tragedy
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 the 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.” On August 8, she revealed her identity as Brittany Commisso.
On March 12, Kaitlin (last name unreported), alleged that Cuomo had made her feel uncomfortable in various situations. With his comments, questions, requests, and invasions of her personal space.
Also, on March 12, journalist Jessica Bakeman alleged that Cuomo had sexually harassed her by touching her. He also made 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 Cuomo had made her feel uncomfortable, describing him staring at her. He entered her personal space, offering her a job, and asking personal questions.
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.
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.
Cuomo’s comments in the face of prosecution
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. 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 fun and banter to what is a severe business.”
On August 10, 2021, Cuomo announced he would step down as Governor of New York, effective August 24.
On March 1, 2021, Cuomo’s senior counsel and special adviser Beth Garvey instructed New York attorney general Letitia James to conduct an independent investigation of Cuomo. On March 8, James hired attorneys from two law firms (firstly Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, and secondly Vladeck, Raskin & Clark) to conduct an independent investigation of Cuomo.
March 11, 2021, the New York Assembly approved a separate impeachment investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Cuomo.
Attorney General James’s five-month investigation concluded with the release of a report on August 3, 2021. This report concluded that during Cuomo’s time in office, he sexually harassed 11 women. Boylan, Bennett, Ruch, Liss, Brittany Commisso, Kaitlin, McGrath, event attendee Virginia Limmiatis, an unnamed New York State trooper, and two unnamed state entities employees. The investigation concluded that Cuomo’s behavior included unwanted groping, kissing, and sexual comments. 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.”
On October 28, 2021, a spokesman for the state court system announced that Cuomo would be charged with a misdemeanor sex crime in the Albany City Court.