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Long Island state senators call on Cuomo to 'step aside' because of harassment accusations

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Five members of the Long Island State Senate delegation — all Democrats — Friday signed a statement calling on Governor Cuomo, a Democrat, to step aside while a series of sexual harassment accusations against him are investigated. 

Among them are Senators John Brooks, of Seaford; James Gaughran, of Northport; Todd Kaminsky, of Long Beach; Anna Kaplan, of Great Neck; and Kevin Thomas, of Levittown. 

Meanwhile, Assemblywoman Judy Griffin, a Democrat from Rockville Centre, has called on the governor to resign.

The Senate statement reads:

"The recent allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against the governor are beyond troubling and describe a disturbing pattern of behavior that also now includes a potentially criminal act.

"The gravity of these claims makes it clear to us that the governor cannot lead the state while faithfully responding to multiple investigations. This is especially true in light of the impending state budget deadline, the need to continue guiding the state through the pandemic and the fragility of the state’s economic recovery.

"The New York State Constitution demands that if the governor is 'unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of governor, the lieutenant-governor shall act as the governor until the inability shall cease.' We call on the governor to step aside, at least until such time that the attorney general’s investigation is complete. We are confident that the lieutenant governor will ably serve the people of New York."

Cuomo has said he will not resign.

More as this story develops.