Governor Baker sees “very difficult” road ahead for Governor Cuomo

Boston Statehouse

In this image taken video provided by Office of the NY Governor, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo makes a statement on a pre-recorded video released, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in New York. An investigation into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has found that he sexually harassed multiple current and former state government employees. State Attorney General Letitia James announced the findings Tuesday. (Office of the NY Governor via AP )

BOSTON (SHNS) – Republican Gov. Charlie Baker stopped short Tuesday of saying that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign in the wake of a report that detailed allegations of sexual harassment in a toxic workplace, but said he does not see how the Democrat can remain effective as the Empire State’s chief executive.

“If the news coverage, which is extraordinary, is — and I would assume that it is — an accurate representation of the report itself, then I don’t see how he can continue to do his job,” Baker said Tuesday during a press conference in Revere after saying he had not yet read the report itself. New York Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday issued a report that concluded “that the Governor engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment under federal and New York State law. Specifically, we find that the Governor sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”

Cuomo has denied that his behavior was inappropriate. Most of Cuomo’s allies in the Democratic Party have said the governor and former Clinton White House Cabinet secretary should not remain in office. Many, President Joe Biden among them, have called for Cuomo to resign. Democrats who control the State Assembly in Albany have opened an impeachment probe. But unlike Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the governors of regional neighbors, Baker did not explicitly call Tuesday for Cuomo to remove himself from the governor’s mansion.

“These are public jobs and they carry with them a significant amount of responsibility and accountability, and a report like that one, based on the news reports I’ve seen so far, I believe make it very difficult for him to continue in that job based on what I believe the level of accountability that comes with this role, or any of these elected roles, is all about,” Baker said. In a joint statement Tuesday night, Govs. Dan McKee of Rhode Island, Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania said they were “appalled” at the report’s findings. “Governor Cuomo should resign from office,” they said.

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