As the dust settles from the political downfall of Andrew Cuomo — who announced his resignation last week amid fallout from sexual misconduct allegations from nearly a dozen women — a growing number of reports are lending further credence to questions about the disgraced New York governor’s character.
One, in particular, came on Sunday when Cuomo’s predecessor shared an anecdote that underscored allegations of ruthless political behavior. David Paterson, New York’s first-ever Black governor whose decision against seeking election set the stage for Cuomo’s election, said during a radio interview that he “was always pretty leery” of Cuomo before explaining why, the New York Post reported.
Paterson told John Catsimatidis on the WABC 770 show, “The Cats Roundtable,” that Cuomo tried to sabotage his political ambitions in 2006 when then-gubernatorial candidate elect Eliot Spitzer was looking for a running mate to be his lieutenant governor. It was a position that Spitzer — who was famously felled by his own personal misgivings involving women — ultimately chose Paterson for, apparently to the chagrin of Cuomo, who, at the time, was running for New York attorney general.
“Apparently Andrew didn’t like that he had heard that Gov. Spitzer was going to pick me to be his lieutenant governor,” Paterson said before dropping a bomb: “So he calls up Spitzer’s office, then he tells … Spitzer, that I was erratic, disloyal, and that things would come out about me that would make him wish he had never chosen me to be his running mate.”
Paterson said Cuomo played dumb and denied the report when confronted.
“After that conversation, I’d have to say there was some distance between us,” Paterson said Sunday. “I was always pretty leery of anything he said to me.”
Meanwhile, the New York State Assembly suspended its impeachment investigation that was launched before New York Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James released her office’s report earlier this month finding Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. That report was largely credited for being the final nail in Cuomo’s tenure as governor. He announced his resignation one week later.
On the flip side, Cuomo’s resignation will restore a Black person to the highest levels of New York state government, something Paterson suggested he didn’t want to see back in 2006.
Cuomo’s resignation not only means that current Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will become the state’s first woman governor but also New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins will soon assume her position as the first Black woman who is acting lieutenant governor. It will also be the first time the state is led by two women.
Cuomo’s resignation officially goes into effect on Aug. 31.