March 15, 2021 By Christina Santucci
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards joined the growing chorus of New York officials calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step down — following allegations that the governor harassed several women.
Richards, in a joint statement issued with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, said Saturday that Cuomo should resign. The statement was released shortly after a seventh woman accused Cuomo of inappropriate behavior.
In a New York Magazine story published Saturday, former Politico reporter Jessica Bakeman wrote that Cuomo touched her inappropriately while posing for a photograph. Bakeman wrote that she believed the governor intended to shock and humiliate her.
Richards and Brewer said the state government can not work effectively, while the accusations are being examined.
“While we support the ongoing investigations, we believe that the experiences recounted by the now seven women who have come forward warrant a call for the governor’s resignation,” the borough presidents said.
“All survivors need our support and deserve justice, and the people of Queens and Manhattan support them every step of the way,” they wrote in the statement.
Cuomo has faced increasing criticism from elected officials over the sexual harassment allegations made against him — as well as his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic.
Dozens of state legislators — including 14 from Queens — released a statement Thursday, calling for the governor’s resignation. The following day, New York’s two senators — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — joined more than a dozen Congressmembers in saying Cuomo should step down.
On Friday, the governor denied the accusations of harassment. “I did not do what has been alleged. Period,” he said. He said the investigation into his behavior should be allowed to play out. “There are now reviews on the way. No one wants them to happen more quickly and more thoroughly than I do. Let them do it.”
The governor added, “Politicians who don’t know a single fact but yet form a conclusion and an opinion are in my opinion reckless and dangerous.”
Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul would take over if Cuomo resigned.