Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul turned on Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday after a devastating state investigative report substantiated allegations that he sexual harassed female employees in violation of state and federal law.
Hochul, who previously reserved judgment on Cuomo’s fate pending the results of independent probes, would become the acting governor if Cuomo steps down or is tossed from office.
“Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace, and certainly not in public service. The Attorney General’s investigation has documented repulsive and unlawful behavior by the Governor towards multiple women,” Hochul said in a statement released to the media.
“I believe these brave women and admire their courage coming forward.”
“No one is above the law. Under the New York Constitution, the Assembly will now determine the next steps.”
Hochul added, “Because Lieutenant Governors stand next in the line of succession, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the process at this moment.”
Hochul was Cuomo’s running mate as lieutenant governor when he won a second term in 2014 and a third term in 2018.
When former Gov. Eliot Spitzer stepped down after getting nabbed in a prostitution scandal in 2018, Lt. Gov. David Paterson took over as governor and completed the term. Paterson did not seek re-election.