Outgoing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was the victim of a “political fireworks display” in his farewell speech on Monday.
In a pre-recorded letter, the formerly powerful Democrat went on to insist that the investigation into his alleged harassment of women was a political game to get him to stop.
It was a political and media riot against me. But the truth will come one day. I’m confident of that, said Cuomo, who on Tuesday night handed control of the fourth most populous state in the United States to Deputy Governor Kathy Hochul.
I stood up to Trump
Until the scandal broke, Cuomo, the son of former governor Mario Cuomo, had ruled New York for ten years. He was first elected in 2010.
Last spring, he grabbed headlines across the country and was widely praised for telling Americans the truth about the coronavirus pandemic in daily television appearances.
While then-President Donald Trump was riddled with incoherent and false allegations about the virus, it was Cuomo who stood up to him. Then many Democrats saw a potential future Democratic presidential candidate.
It started to crack
But his reputation began to emerge at the end of last year when he was accused of covering up the number of people who have died from the virus at a state nursing home.
Then several women stood up and accused the 63-year-old of behaving inappropriately towards them.
The charges culminated in an explosive report by State Attorney General Letitia James earlier this month that revealed he sexually harassed eleven women by inappropriately flirting and touching them.
Cuomo denied the cash on all charges and initially rejected all calls to resign, including from President Joe Biden.
But as the Supreme Court investigation began to gain momentum, he finally gave in and announced on August 10 that he would resign after two weeks.
Andrew Cuomo resigns after allegations of sexual harassment
Bring a stick to the mayor
He claimed in his farewell address on Monday that there was a rush to denounce him, which in turn led to a media storm that was not “true, fair or sustainable in the long run”.
– He said that no governor in the country had received more progressive measures than I, and thanked the voters for the honor I had in working with them.
In his speech, he also directed a poorly hidden sting at the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, who had many disputes.
He said de Blasio’s potential successor, Eric Adams, would bring new philosophy and experience to the position that would give New Yorkers hope for the future.
Hochhol, also a Democrat, will be New York’s first female governor when she is sworn in in the state capital Albany shortly after midnight Tuesday local time.