New York Governor Cuomo resigns following sexual harassment findings
FILE PHOTO: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo during a past press briefing. /Getty Images

FILE PHOTO: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo during a past press briefing. /Getty Images

Embattled New York governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced his resignation following intense pressure after the state’s attorney general reported that he broke federal and state sexual harassment laws.

Cuomo, who has served as governor of New York, the fourth most-populous U.S. state, since 2011, made the announcement during a press conference adding that his resignation will take effect in 14 days.

Cuomo said he would not be the cause of state government wasting its energy on distractions rather than saving New York.

"Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing. Therefore, that is what I will do because I work for you, and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you," Cuomo said.

Cuomo maintained he had "never crossed the line with anyone" but admitted that he did not realize the extent to which his actions had been perceived differently.

"I take full responsibility for my actions. I have been too familiar with people. My sense of humour can be insensitive and off-putting. I do hug and kiss people casually, women and men; I have done it all my life. It is who I have been since I can remember."

Cuomo, 63, is accused by 11 women of sexual misconduct, claims which state Attorney General Letitia James said were credible and stood up to scrutiny from her investigators in a report released following months of speculation over its findings.

He had faced calls for his resignation from every member of his state's congressional delegation, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and several state legislators and a majority of county-level Democratic Party chairpersons.

New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., will take the place of Cuomo.

This is the second time in 13 years that a New York governor has resigned over a scandal, after Eliot Spitzer quit in 2008 over his patronage of prostitutes.

(With input from agencies)

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