AP NEWS

Cuomo: Mayor accused of domestic violence must resign

September 17, 2018

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other top New York state Democrats have weighed in on domestic abuse allegations leveled at the mayor of an upstate city, saying the fellow Democrat must resign from office.

Cuomo issued a statement Sunday calling on Shawn Morse to resign as mayor of Cohoes, a city of about 17,000 just north of Albany. The 51-year-old Morse’s estranged wife and teenage daughter have accused him of physical abuse.

Cuomo’s call for Morse’s resignation came hours after the Times Union of Albany reported Sunday that Morse has been accused of physically abusing his wife and daughter on multiple occasions.

“The frightening and egregious evidence of domestic violence against Mayor Morse, as documented in recent media reports, cannot be ignored,” Cuomo said. “Given the documented evidence presented in these reports, it is clear he cannot continue to serve and must resign.”

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, chairman of the state Democratic Party, also demanded Morse’s resignation, calling him “unfit to serve.”

Morse, who hasn’t been charged, denied the domestic abuse allegations Monday afternoon. During a rambling 40-minute news conference, he said he has never abused his wife and daughter, adding that he was “a broken man with a broken family.”

Brenda Morse has declined to comment on the advice of her attorney.

Morse said he won’t resign before his term ends next year. He called on Cuomo to leave office, referring to the winner of last week’s Democratic gubernatorial primary as “the most corrupt governor in America.”

The abuse allegations became public in November, when Brenda Morse called 911 and reported that her husband had attacked her. Cohoes police, and later the state police, investigated, but no charges were filed.

Allegations of abuse involving his daughter have been investigated by child protective services, the Times Union reported. State police have reopened an investigation into the allegations based on what the newspaper reported, Cuomo said.

The Albany newspaper also reported that police in the neighboring town of Colonie were investigating a complaint Brenda Morse filed on Friday, accusing her husband of grabbing her and spitting in her face while they met at a restaurant to discuss terms of their separation and child custody issues.

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