Gov. Andrew Cuomo suffered another blow Thursday, as the head of the National Organization for Women-NY called on him to resign over the latest bombshell accusation that he groped a young female staffer at the executive mansion.
“He should resign,” NY-NOW president Sonia Ossorio.
“Many people were willing to let the investigation play out, but the latest allegation was a bridge too far,” Ossorio told The Post.
She was referring to a female staffer’s claim that Cuomo reached under her blouse and groped her while they were alone at the governor’s mansion. Cuomo denied the accusation.
Six women have now accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, which has triggered an independent probe overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James.
NOW’s turn against the governor comes as Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) and Democratic-led state Assembly lay the groundwork to initiate potential impeachment proceeding against Cuomo, starting with a probe of his sex harassment accusations and COVID-19 nursing home policies.
The move followed a growing number of fellow Democratic pols calling for his resignation or impeachment.
The loss of the women’s advocacy group spells further trouble for Cuomo’s bid to hold onto office.
Ossorio endorsed Democrat Cuomo’s re-election bid to a third term early in 2018 before primary insurgent Cynthia Nixon even entered the race.
Ironically, NOW praised Cuomo’s women’s agenda at the time, which included a plan to combat sexual harassment by doing away with confidential settlements in government.
NOW- New York State also issued a blistering statement.
“As women, listening to these firsthand accounts is like a punch in the gut. It’s all too familiar – because most of us – at one time or another – have encountered this feeling – of being diminished, of being sexualized, of being put into an uncomfortable situation by an inappropriate word or touch,” Ossorio said in the statement.
“This behavior cannot be tolerated in any workplace, much less in the halls of our state Capitol by those entrusted to set the standard and the laws for all of us.”
The group said he investigation must examine the full scope of alleged sexual harassment by Cuomo that occurred and how complaints were handled by administration officials.
“Women across the state – and particularly the courageous women who have come forward – deserve a full and public accounting of what happened. This will be essential to creating government workplaces where powerful elected officials don’t feel entitled to objectify, proposition, or harass employees, and where the mechanisms are in place to truly hold those who don’t abide by the rules accountable,” the statement said..
“It is simple. Women must be able to go to work and get through the day without experiencing sexual harassment.
“Like many who have come before him, the Governor’s demise will not change the culture of sexual harassment that has plagued Albany and state government for many years.”
In 2017, after a string of elected officials were exposed for sexual harassment, NOW-NY launched a whistleblower hotline for state government workers to report abuses.
“We learned that sexual harassment infects the lives of far too many women, and reporting it brings risk and uncertainty,” the group said.
“It takes courage to come forward and put your name behind your story, especially against a powerful individual. What does it take to change men’s entitlement? That’s a question that will take courage for men to answer.”