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Critics: Cuomo apology 'tone-deaf,' ignores power imbalance

Cuomo said in a statement that he only meant to joke with staff to add ‘levity’ to their serious work.

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s response to accusations that he sexually harassed women on the job is being viewed as a tone-deaf “faux-pology” by critics and victim's advocates. 

Cuomo said in a statement that he only meant to joke with staff to add ‘levity’ to their serious work. 

Calls for governor to resign are intensifying now that a third woman has accused him of offensive behavior. Anna Ruch told The New York Times on Monday that Cuomo touched her back and face and asked if he could kiss her moments after they met at a wedding in 2019. Her account prompted tweets of support from two former Cuomo aides who say he sexually harassed them.

Northwestern University law professor Deborah Tuerkheimer says Cuomo in his statement ignores the power imbalance at play. Meanwhile, New York Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou calls sexual harassment at the statehouse rampant.

Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Majority Leader of the New York State Assembly, who represents the 141st Assembly District, issued this statement on Twitter Tuesday morning.  

Cuomo's televised coronavirus briefings won plaudits last spring. But now Cuomo is fighting for his political life amid accusations of sexual harassment, bullying and undercounting virus deaths connected to the state’s nursing homes. 

New York’s attorney general Letitia James was empowered Monday to choose an independent investigator to probe allegations of sexual harassment by at least two of the women who worked for Cuomo. 

Critics are calling for an independent investigation into the state's handling of nursing home deaths as well.

   

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