A BILLBOARD called on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign as he was stripped of his emergency Covid powers while facing sexual harassment allegations.
Erected at the state capital in Albany, the big billboard featured Cuomo’s face and “resign now!” in bold red letters.
It stood on display as state legislators reached a deal to take away Cuomo’s emergency powers for handling the coronavirus pandemic, two months before the expiration date.
Meanwhile in midtown Manhattan, protesters gathered outside the governor’s office and chanted and held signs demanding that Cuomo quit.
Pressure has mounted on Cuomo to resign after a third woman on Monday accused him of sexually harassing her.
On top of the sexual harassment allegations, Cuomo is under investigation for apparently covering up the number of Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes, after he was widely praised for his leadership early in the pandemic.
Cuomo was granted Covid emergency powers on March 3, 2020, three days after the first confirmed virus case in New York, and they are effective through April 30, 2021.
In a statement, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said: “A year into the pandemic, and as New Yorkers receive the vaccine, the temporary emergency powers have served their purpose – it is time for them to be repealed.”
Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Collins said the need for a quick response was apparent last March but that “the public deserves to have checks and balances.”
Heastie and Stewart-Collins agreed that current directives would continue and that the governor could modify existing policies like reopening restaurants.
The legislature could vote on the agreement as soon as Friday.
On Monday, Cuomo opened himself up for an investigation over sexual misconduct claims by two women who served as his aides.
Lindsey Boylan, who worked for Cuomo’s administration from 2015 to 2018, claimed that he kissed her on the lips without her consent and suggested that they play strip poker.
Another ex-aide, Charlotte Bennett, said Cuomo, 63, told her he was open to dating women in their 20s and understood that he wanted to sleep with her.
Shortly after, Anna Ruch said Cuomo put his hand on her bare lower back at a wedding in September 2019.
A photograph also emerged showing Cuomo holding Ruch by the cheeks as she appeared uneasy.
Cuomo on Sunday denied inappropriately touching or prepositioning any of the women and said he was “truly sorry” if his actions were “misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.”
Among lawmakers who have called on Cuomo to resign is Congresswoman Kathleen Rice of New York.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said a full probe should be launched into Cuomo's conduct.
And New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has butted heads with Cuomo, said the governor cannot carry out his role if the claims are proven true.
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