Most New Jersey residents have heard about the scandal involving New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. On Aug. 10, Cuomo announced in a press conference that he would be stepping down from his office due to allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation.
Cuomo’s official resignation will take two weeks to be finalized, and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will become the new governor. Hochul has served as the lieutenant governor of New York since 2014, and she will become the state’s first female governor.
First allegation in February
The first public sexual harassment allegation against Cuomo came at the end of February. Shortly afterwards, several more women made similar allegations against Cuomo. Eventually, a 5-month investigation into Cuomo’s inappropriate behavior with his female staff was completed.
Stepping down spares Cuomo from impeachment
New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced the findings of the Cuomo sexual harassment investigation on Aug. 3. According to James, the 168-page report paints a disturbing but clear picture. Cuomo was found to have sexually harassed 11 women, created a hostile work environment and engaged in retaliation against one accuser.
Though Cuomo made the decision to step down, he has never actually admitted to any wrongdoing. Resigning will spare Cuomo from facing an impeachment trial where he would have to defend his actions in front of a judge. So far, Cuomo has denied acting inappropriately and blamed the allegations on cultural shifts.
Sexual harassment victims can pursue compensation
People who are sexually harassed at work are sometimes forced to quit because of the hostile work environment. In some cases, victims are actually fired for complaining about inappropriate behavior. Sexual harassment victims can be entitled to pursue compensation for the financial losses that they incurred.