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From The Streets Of Brooklyn, Here's How New Yorkers Feel About Gov. Cuomo Resigning

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

As we've been reporting, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has resigned from office. The announcement follows an independent investigation from the New York attorney general in which Cuomo was found to have sexually harassed nearly a dozen women. NPR's Jasmine Garsd has reaction from New York.

JASMINE GARSD, BYLINE: In his press conference today, Governor Andrew Cuomo was both defiant and contrite, a stance he's consistently taken over the last few months of accusations. He apologized but said he believes much of the investigation was politically motivated and his instinct was to keep fighting back.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANDREW CUOMO: In my mind, I've never crossed the line with anyone. But I didn't realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn't fully appreciate.

GARSD: In the end, he told New Yorkers he's resigning for the good of the state. Reactions on the streets of Brooklyn today were mixed. On a lunch break in the Williamsburg neighborhood, Jim Compagno (ph) says he's been following the investigation closely, and he was delighted when the governor announced his resignation. He says this is a triumph.

JIM COMPAGNO: Immense joy, which I didn't expect to feel - like, a sort of an ability to be part of a process or change in process at a very high level.

GARSD: But he says his mother, on the other hand, was sad to see the Democratic Governor Cuomo go. And she's a Republican. But he says as an Italian American, she seemed to relate to the way Cuomo spoke in press conferences, especially at the height of the pandemic. There was something comforting about those daily briefings.

COMPAGNO: She's like, oh, my God, Jimmy, he's gone. So, like, I think she's hurt by it even today as a Republican.

GARSD: Although the spotlight has been on sexual harassment accusations against Governor Cuomo, his administration has recently been mired in other scandals - the potential use of government staff for his memoir, construction and safety issues around the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, allegations that his administration hid the full number of COVID nursing home deaths in the state. While taking a stroll with her friends, Melissa Fornabaio (ph) echoed the sentiment of many New Yorkers - exhaustion and a desire to move on.

MELISSA FORNABAIO: Clean up the garbage. We need leaders that we can trust with good morals that can bring people from both sides of the political sphere together and get our city back together. We've been through enough with the pandemic.

GARSD: Even with his resignation, Cuomo will be facing several criminal investigations. New Yorker Mikey Voltaggio (ph) is hoping there are consequences for Cuomo beyond just losing his job.

MIKEY VOLTAGGIO: I'm curious to see how the aftershocks are going to be because that's where I'll be like, OK, were you held accountable, or were you just brushed off because you resigned and got yourself away with it?

GARSD: When Cuomo officially steps down in 14 days, the lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul will take over. And while Jim Compagno's mom, the Republican, is upset to see Cuomo go, Compagno says he's trying to get her excited about New York finally having its first female governor.

COMPAGNO: Actually, I shared that with my mom, too, to let her know, like - hey; look at this. I think she might be happy about the facts I was sharing with her.

GARSD: He says it's something they might be able to see eye to eye on. Jasmine Garsd, NPR News, New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF MINAMI DEUTSCH'S "TUNNEL") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.