Hochul demands accused sex abuser Juan Ardila resign from Assembly

Gov. Kathy Hochul demanded that troubled-plagued first-term Assemblyman Juan Ardila resign after two women accused the Queens Democrat of sexual assault at a party eight years ago.

“It is intolerable and unacceptable what he did,” Hochul said at a Manhattan event on teen mental health Thursday.

“I support the survivors and their call for accountability and yes, he should resign,” the governor said.

Earlier Thursday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie huddled with female legislators to discuss what disciplinary actions, if any, to take against Ardila. 

A slew of other Democratic officials — including former allies Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards — either called for Ardila’s resignation or a probe of the claims.

Ardila, 29, is accused of forcibly touching two women at a 2015 party while they were intoxicated and that he had also allegedly kissed and exposed himself to one of them.

Gov. Kathy Hochul demands that Assemblyman Juan Ardila resign after two women accused him of sexual assault at a party eight years ago.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock

The women said they came forward after finding out that Ardila had been elected to the Legislature in 2022.

“He is someone I consider predatory on a pathological level,” the first accuser told The Post on Wednesday, adding that he should resign.

Heastie (D-Bronx), whose chamber moved toward impeaching ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2021 before he resigned over sexual misconduct claims that the disgraced governor denied, told reporters at the Capitol on Wednesday that he was not calling on Ardila to resign.

But on Thursday, he met with female lawmakers to discuss the firestorm surrounding Ardila, who did not dispute the accusations against him and issued a vague apology for his boorish or abusive behavior.

Legislators appeared divided on how to proceed since Ardila’s alleged abuse occurred seven years before he was elected to the Assembly in 2022.

Assemblywoman Vivian Cook, a Queens Democrat, said, “They [the accusers] waited so long to tell this story.

“Why did they wait so long?

She said Ardila graduated from college and “has improved his life” and questioned the need to punish him.

Assemblyman Juan Ardila
Other Democratic officials including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards have called for Ardila’s resignation.

Among the issues discussed at the meetings is what legal authority does the Assembly have to investigate or discipline Ardila for actions that took place years before he was a candidate for public office or a sitting legislator.

“There’s no conclusion,” said an Assembly insider familiar with the deliberations.

Another Assembly source said, “I’m not sure what can really be done.”

But the Assembly does have the authority to take some discretionary actions to express disapproval of Ardila’s actions, such as stripping assignments from committees or issuing a statement condemning his allegedly abusive behavior.

The Assembly leadership take one action out of an abundance of caution: An intern who worked for Ardila has been reassigned, two Assembly sources said.

Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, many Republicans have disowned serial fabulist Long Island GOP George Santos for repeatedly lying to voters about his personal, professional and family history and he has removed himself from two committees amid investigations into his shady finances.

Former state Queens state Sen. Hiram Monserrate was expelled from office in 2010 following a misdemeanor assault conviction involving his ex-girlfriend.

Erica Vladimer, the co-founder of the Sexual Harassment Working Group, stopped short of calling for Ardila to resign.

She did say “actions speak louder than words” when it comes to Ardila demonstrating that he is taking the accusations seriously after previously denying them.

“The biggest part is owning the harm that you created and availing yourself to any accountability measures because there are highest standards for electeds [officials],” Vladimer said.

“It isn’t just repairing it with the people who he harmed but also with the people who elected him to represent him in Albany.”