BROOKLYN, NY – In response to the recent accusations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Greek-American State Senator Andrew Gounardes released the following statement on March 10:
“Governor Cuomo cannot continue to lead this state.
People who sexually harass staff, threaten those they disagree with, and withhold information from the public have abused their power and do not belong in positions of public trust. The law is clear: unwanted touching, making inappropriate comments, or treating people less well than others constitutes sexual harassment in New York. Whether the Governor knew or believed he made people uncomfortable is not the standard or the law. It is solely his actions – actions which he has admitted to – that matter. His conduct fosters a workplace culture that is unhealthy, unsafe, and toxic. And his actions perpetuate the long-standing fear held by victims of this behavior that if they speak out, they will be punished for it. This is unacceptable anywhere in New York, but especially in the highest office in our state.
The multiple credible accounts of sexual harassment are more than enough to say the Governor is not fit to hold office. Yet even more controversy hangs over the Executive branch and impedes the ability of the Governor to effectively lead. The administration's intentional whitewashing and withholding of information from the public about nursing homes is a betrayal of public trust. The people of New York have been misled by an administration that does not value or respect the trust that was placed in them to lead us through a moment of crisis. When the trust between the government and the governed is so broken, it can only be restored by new leadership.
No well-meaning New Yorker ought to take joy in these events, or in their consequences. These are troubling times for our state at a moment when we cannot afford to falter: A raging pandemic, a fitful yet hopeful recovery, and the challenges of rebuilding a New York that doesn't leave anyone behind. New Yorkers deserve honest, transparent, and accountable leadership. And that begins with Governor Cuomo putting the state first and resigning."