Andrew Cuomo

New York Is No Stranger to Political Disgrace: Here Is a Look at the Top Scandals

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An embattled Andrew Cuomo has strongly denied any wrongdoing regarding his sexual harassment scandal, before and after he resigned from his position as governor of New York.

The resignation -- and apology to any women his actions may have offended -- came one week after a bombshell report released by state Attorney General Letitia James concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women and then retaliated against a former employee who complained publicly about his conduct.

The months-long probe found that Cuomo "sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law," James said at a press conference. Her office noted, however, that there were no specific penalties tied to the report.

The 165-page report, which comprises interviews with 179 witnesses and a review of tens of thousands of documents, also said that Cuomo's office was riddled with fear and intimidation and was a hostile work environment for many staffers.

Two months later, Cuomo was accused in a criminal complaint of committing a misdemeanor sex crime.

Aside from the sexual harassment investigation conducted by the attorney general's office, Cuomo is facing other allegations of wrongdoing, including whether his staff tried to hide or alter data on coronavirus deaths in New York nursing homes.

While the turn of events for this political scion is shocking, political scandals are nothing new in New York. Below is a list of high-ranking New York officials who have resigned in the wake of scandal:

  • Oct. 17, 1913 - In the history of the state, only one governor has ever been impeached. William Sulzer, the 39th governor of New York, had been in the seat for less than a year before he was impeached after being accused of failing to report thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and commingling campaign funds with personal funds. He was convicted by a special court and removed from office on Oct. 17, 1913.
  • Dec. 22, 2006NYS Comptroller Alan Hevesi resigns and pleads guilty to a felony charge of defrauding the government; later charges result in a prison sentence.
  • March 12, 2008 - Governor Eliot Spitzer announces his resignation, effective March 17, after being caught in a prostitution sting in Washington, DC.  (His successor, David Paterson, had several scandals of his own, including accusations of perjury, witness tampering and even rumors of sex and drug escapades that were never proven, but they did not lead to his resignation.)
  • July 18, 2008 - NYS Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno resigns his Senate seat, after stepping down as Senate leader on June 24, amid federal corruption charges; later convicted on two felony counts.  The US Supreme Court overturned his conviction; a later retrial resulted in acquittal. 
  • June 20, 2011 - Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner -- a once-rising star in the Democratic Party who served nearly 12 years in Congress -- had a dramatic and sordid fall from grace after he sent a lewd picture of himself over Twitter in 2011 and resigned after the behavior came to light.
  • Jan. 30, 2015 - NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver resigns as Speaker, effective February 2, following his arrest on federal corruption charges.  Later that year, he is convicted on seven counts. Although that conviction was overturned, he was convicted again in a later trial.  He is currently in federal prison.
  • May 11, 2015 – Dean Skelos steps down from his position as Majority Leader of the NYS Senate, a week after his arrest on federal corruption charges along with his son.  Later that year, he was convicted, automatically losing his seat.   An appeals court overturned his conviction, but he was found guilty again on retrial.  Last year he was released from prison to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest after testing positive for COVID.
  • May 7, 2018 – NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigns hours after the New Yorker published an article detailing allegations of physical abuse.
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