Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Statement on Governor Cuomo

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Social Services, today called on Governor Cuomo to resign and urged the Assembly to impeach if he does not.

"In light of the findings in Attorney General Tish James’ report, which detailed multiple, serious and corroborated allegations of sexual harassment, I renew my calls on Governor Cuomo to resign.

Sexual harassment is an insidious form of workplace-based violence that erodes one’s sense of safety and self-worth. The Attorney General’s report documents repulsive behavior, including retaliation, which created a “hostile” work environment that many employees described as “toxic.” I stand with the women, those who spoke out as well as those who haven't, who were targets of his predatory behavior.

The pattern of repugnant conduct exhibited by the Governor, well-documented in the report and corroborated by multiple sources, violates state and federal law. This is true regardless of intent or generational or cultural differences. It is beneath the office of Governor of the State of New York to behave in such a manner.

While the findings contained in the report are themselves appalling, the Governor’s response to them was beyond contemptible. Positioning himself as a trauma-informed, feminist leader, the Governor attempted to shift the blame for his inappropriate and illegal behavior onto the women he harassed and the independent investigators who helped uncover the harassment. This kind of response is chilling, as it broadcasts to other survivors of sexually motivated violence or harassment that power will stop at nothing to protect itself.

As a Member of the New York State Assembly, it is my duty to send a strong message to the women of this state and those who have been harmed by the Governor that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in any workplace, whether it be on a construction site or in the Executive office.

Since it is clear that the Governor will not resign, the Assembly must impeach him.

As a woman in politics, like women in so many other settings, I know the courage it took to come forward. And I thank these brave women for doing so. Women should be treated with respect, taken seriously and valued for their professional accomplishments and not their looks or sex appeal. Sexual harassment sends the message that no matter how hard you work or what you sacrifice, you will never be more than an object. New York State has a long way to go to create safe, inclusive workplaces."