Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday called for the resignation of a Queens assemblymember accused of sexual assault by two women in the pages of a local newspaper.
At an unrelated press conference, Hochul said Assemblymember Juan Ardila, a Democrat first elected in 2022, “should resign.”
“It is intolerable and unacceptable what he did,” the governor said of the allegations. “I support the survivors in their call for accountability.”
BREAKING: @GovKathyHochul calls on Assemblyman @JuanArdilaNYS to resign: pic.twitter.com/6P0aVxXSGq— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) March 16, 2023
Some prominent lawmakers have already called on the politician to resign, but others — including Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat — have held back.
The two women, who asked the Queens Chronicle not to identify them, accused Ardila of sexually assaulting them at a Bronx party in October 2015. At the time, he worked for then-Councilmember Brad Lander.
"I believe that Juan Ardila should heed the call of the women he harmed to resign," Lander, now the city's comptroller, said in a statement Wednesday. "As someone who has seen Juan grow over the past eight years, I hope to see him take accountability now."
One of the women told the paper Ardila "got handsy" with her at a party attended by Fordham University students and alumni and attempted to lead her down the hall before a friend stopped him. The other woman claimed Ardila took her into the bathroom and started kissing her while exposing and touching himself.
When NY1 caught up with him on the first floor of the Capitol Wednesday, he refused to answer questions and walked out of the building with an Assembly security guard.
In a statement posted to Twitter Tuesday, Ardila said, “I want the public to know that I am deeply apologetic for my past behavior and acknowledge that my actions have caused great harm. I made mistakes and I am not perfect.”
.@JuanArdilaNYS declines to speak with us as he leaves the Capitol with a security escort.— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) March 15, 2023
Two women have made sexual misconduct allegations against him pic.twitter.com/DAIWC81uje