Aug 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

N.Y. Gov. Cuomo condemns harassment probe in defiant farewell address

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a press briefing in August 2020.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a press briefing in August 2020. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized an independent investigation that found he sexually harassed multiple women in violation of federal and state law in a prerecorded farewell address released during his last day in office Monday.

Why it matters: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be sworn as governor at midnight on Tuesday when Cuomo officially resigns; she will become the first woman to hold the position.

  • Though Cuomo did not specifically address the allegations against him, he claimed “intense political pressure and media frenzy” caused a "rush to judgment" against him and promised to fight back "because it is unfair and unjust in my mind."

What they're saying: "The truth is, ultimately, always revealed," Cuomo said. "The attorney general’s report was designed to be a political firecracker on an explosive topic and it worked. There was a political and media stampede.”

  • "Prolonging this situation could only cause governmental paralysis, and that is just not an option for you and not an option for the state, especially now," he added.
  • Cuomo, who was nearing the end of his third term in office, thanked his staff and said he believes Hochul will "step up to the challenge."

Of note: He took a swipe at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, saying Eric Adams, the Democratic nominee and front-runner for mayor, "will bring a new philosophy and competence to the position."

The big picture: Despite Cuomo's resignation, the New York State Assembly is proceeding with its impeachment investigation against him and will publish a report on its finding, though that does not mean lawmakers will ultimately move toward formally impeaching him, according to the New York Times.

  • Cuomo also still faces criminal investigations opened by multiple local prosecutors.

Go deeper: Hochul vows to turn the page on Cuomo's "toxic work environment"

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to say Hochul will be sworn in at midnight on Tuesday, not noon.

Go deeper