Although almost two years stand between New York governor Andrew Cuomo and another election, the leader who was last year hailed a “hero” for his response to Covid, could end-up quitting following multiple allegations of sexual harassment.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio called Mr Cuomo’s behaviour “disgusting” in recent days, and nine members of the state’s congressional delegation on Friday released statements calling for the governor’s resignation.
It was the first time the members of Congress called for the Democratic governor to quit, with congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez writing: “We agree with the 55 plus members of the New York State legislature that the Governor must resign.”
Ms Ocasio-Cortez added that the decision follows “two accounts of sexual assault, four accounts of harassment,” and the hiding of nursing home deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Cuomo, who faces an investigation into the claims, is currently the highest paid state leader in the country, with a yearly income of $225,000 (£161,549).
The next best paid governor, Gavin Newsom of California, currently receives a sum of $202,000 (£145,045) per year.
The Democrat also faces calls to resign for his response to Covid.
A decision taken by New York’s Compensation Committee recommended the pay rise for Mr Cuomo as far back as 2018, when pay for members of the New York legislature was also increased.
The passing of the legislation swept away the $179,000 (£128,521) yearly paycheck for New York governors since 1999, and provided Mr Cuomo with a $21,000 pay increase in 2019.
Mr Cuomo’s income went upwards a second time, increasing to £225,000 in 2020 from $200,000 (£143,615) in 2019, as part of the state Compensation Committee recommendations to New York’s legislature.
The same committee recommended last year that state legislatures postpone pay rises for 2021 to 2023, following the financial ramifications of Covid-19 for City Hall, as reported by USA Today.
Mr Cuomo, although exempt from the recommendation, said last November he would postpone a final pay rise of $25,000 (£17,951) , which was due into force on 1 January 2022, until 2024.
Following the claims of sexual harassment against him, any resignation would come almost two years before the 2022 gubernatorial elections, and before the final salary increase is introduced in 2024.
Mr Cuomo is estimated to have taken-in nearly $2 million (£1.4 million) while New York governor, and has an estimated net worth of $5 million (£3.6 million), according to worth tracking site CelebrityNetWorth.
The estimated fortune follows his release of earnings while Attorney General in 2010, for which he was found to have taken-in almost $2million as an adviser to real estate tycoon Andrew Farkas in 2004 and 2005, the New York Times reported.
It was also reported that in 2006, the year he was elected as the state’s attorney general, Mr Cuomo and his then wife reported an income of $1.35 million (£933,940). His family, meanwhile, own a real estate empire.
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