March 10, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Queens Borough President candidate Jimmy Van Bramer is calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign amid sexual harassment allegations — and now wants his opponents in the BP race to do the same.
Van Bramer is asking his fellow borough president candidates to join the growing number of lawmakers demanding Cuomo to resign.
The council member first called on Cuomo to step down on Feb. 27 following the accounts of two former female staffers who accused the governor of inappropriate comments and behavior.
Four more women have since come forward with their own accounts and New York Attorney General Letitia James was granted the authority to conduct an independent investigation into the accusations on March 1.
“After reading Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett‘s accounts of disgusting and demoralizing workplace abuse I called on Governor Cuomo to resign on February 27th, and since re-upped my call several times, circulating a petition to build public support,” Van Bramer said in a statement Monday.
“I want to be absolutely clear: I believe all the other women who have since come forward as well.”
Now he wants his fellow borough president candidates, including current Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, to join him in that call.
“This is absolutely unacceptable and I’m calling now on my opponents in this race to join me in calling on the Governor to resign,” Van Bramer said Monday. “The #MeToo movement has exposed systemic workplace sexual harassment and assault, but it’s up to leaders to take bold action.”
Richards said the allegations against Cuomo must be investigated, but didn’t call for his resignation.
“The claims made against Gov. Cuomo must be investigated thoroughly, and I am confident our Attorney General Tish James will conduct an extensive review led by former U.S. Attorney Joon Kim and highly-respected employment attorney Anne Clark,” Richards told the Queens Post.
Crowley, who founded an organization to help elect more women to public office, called the allegations against Cuomo “alarming.”
She thanked the women for having the courage to speak up. However, she stopped short of calling for his resignation.
“Sexual harassment in the workplace is unacceptable in all cases, and particularly in our highest levels of government,” Crowley said in a statement. ” I am glad Attorney General James will be leading an investigation into the Governor’s conduct, and her investigation must be allowed to happen free of political influence.”
President of the Central Queens Republic Club Danniel Maio, tenant organizer Stan Morse and immigrant advocate Diana Sanchez are also running for the borough president seat, according to the NYC Campaign Finance Board.
The other candidates in the race didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
A June primary and November general election will determine who will serve as borough president for a full four-year term. Current Borough President Richards only has the position until the end of the year because he won the race in a special election to replace the outgoing BP Melinda Katz.