(JTA) – Nita Lowey, the former longtime New York congresswoman, said Wednesday that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should remain in office while an independent investigation into sexual harassment accusations is ongoing. “I am saddened that recent accusations of misconduct toward women have led to calls for the Governor to resign or be impeached,” Lowey said in a statement shared by the New York State Democratic Committee. Lowey, long known as a champion of women during her 32 years in Congress, said the charges against Cuomo deserve to be heard. “Attorney General Letitia James has appointed two outstanding attorneys to conduct an independent investigation,” she said. “At least until they have reported their conclusions, the Governor should remain in office.”
At least six women have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment in the workplace and inappropriate touching. Lowey in her statement noted her long relationship with Cuomo, whom she said she has known since he was a teenager. Cuomo is the son of Mario Cuomo, who served as New York’s governor for 11 years.
The younger Cuomo served as his father’s campaign manager and later became the secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton administration before becoming New York’s attorney general and then governor.
When Lowey was first elected to the House in 1983, representing Westchester and Rockland counties, she was one of only 22 women in the chamber. In 1991, during the Senate hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Lowey was among a small group of congresswomen who marched across the Capitol to demand that Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of repeated sexual harassment in the workplace, be allowed to testify.
Lowey did not seek reelection in November and retired.
Main Photo: Rep. Nita Lowey in the Capitol, Oct. 16, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)