SAUGERTIES, N.Y. — Sen. Michelle Hinchey has become the third Democratic state legislator from the Mid-Hudson Valley to call for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign over alleged acts of sexual harassment and abuse.
“In light of these allegations, coupled with the deliberate mishandling and withholding of information [about COVID-19 deaths among New York nursing home residents], I believe it is in the best interest of the people of New York for the governor to resign,” Hinchey, D-Saugerties, said in a statement posted on her official website and her Twitter account.
Hinchey, a first-term state lawmaker, made the statement shortly after the Albany Times Union reported that the latest allegation against the Democratic governor is that he groped an unidentified female aide’s breasts in the Executive Mansion in Albany late last year. Five other women, all of whom have identified themselves, have accused Cuomo of various inappropriate actions and incidents of sexual harassment.
“While the governor was a steady voice during a time of [COVID-related] fear and uncertainty, with this most recent allegation, we need to take a deep, inward look at ourselves and decide what kind of leaders we want to be, and what kind of government New Yorkers deserve,” Hinchey said.
“One resignation will not change the deeply systemic issues we have in our society. It will not eliminate the pervasive culture of misogyny, toxicity and fear that we’ve seen perpetuated time and again. But it is a start,” Hinchey said.
Hinchey’s call for Cuomo to step down follows those by state Sen. James Skoufis, D-Cornwall, and Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson, D-Newburgh. Skoufis also has said he would support removing Cuomo through impeachment if the governor does not resign.
The Mid-Hudson Valley’s other two Democratic state Legislators — Assemblyman Kevin Cahill of Kingston and Assemblywoman Didi Barrett — have not issued statements calling for Cuomo to resign or be ousted.
Thursday morning, a group of 59 Democratic state lawmakers — 19 senators and 40 members of the Assembly — issued a joint letter demanding Cuomo resign. Skoufis and Jacobson were among the letter’s signers. Hinchey, Cahill and Barrett were not.