- Jan 11, 2008
- Reaction score
- Salisbury, NH
The Assembly vowed to look into allegations that the governor behaved inappropriately toward female aides and to examine his administration’s handling of Covid-19 deaths in state nursing homes.
N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo Will Face Impeachment Investigation by New York State Lawmakers
Judiciary committee would have authority to interview witnesses, subpoena documents
New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited a vaccination site in Manhattan on Monday.PHOTO: SETH WENIG/PRESS POOL
Updated March 11, 2021 8:00 pm ET
ALBANY, N. Y.—The New York State Assembly said on Thursday that it would start an impeachment investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo, vowing to look into allegations that he behaved inappropriately toward female aides and his administration’s handling of Covid-19 deaths in state nursing homes.
After lawmakers met privately Thursday afternoon, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat from the Bronx, said the Democrat-dominated chamber’s judiciary committee would have authority to interview witnesses, subpoena documents and evaluate evidence as members consider possible articles of impeachment.
Mr. Heastie said that “the reports of accusations concerning the governor are serious.” State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat from Yonkers, has already called on Mr. Cuomo to resign.
Representatives for the Democratic governor didn’t respond to requests for comment on the Assembly’s latest moves.
No New York governor has been impeached in more than a century. After an inquiry, the chamber could consider articles of impeachment that, if approved, would temporarily suspend Mr. Cuomo’s authority. The governor would then be tried before members of the Democrat-controlled state Senate and judges of the state’s Court of Appeals, who could remove him from office upon a two-thirds vote.
State officials on Wednesday referred a complaint that Mr. Cuomo inappropriately touched a female aide at the Executive Mansion to the Albany Police Department.
The latest complaint, which involves a woman who still works on the governor’s Executive Chamber staff, stems from an alleged incident last year, people familiar with the matter said. She is the fourth woman to accuse the third-term Democrat of inappropriate behavior or sexual harassment while they worked for him.
On Wednesday, a representative of the New York State Police and Beth Garvey, the governor’s acting counsel, separately reached out to the Albany Police Department, state and police officials said. Ms. Garvey spoke with Deputy Chief Edward Donohue on Wednesday evening, they said.
Officer Steve Smith, a spokesman for the Albany Police Department, said that the department hadn’t received a formal complaint from the woman and that there is no active investigation. Officer Smith said Albany Police had reached out to the woman’s attorney to offer police services with respect to her allegation.
Ms. Garvey said Executive Chamber officials followed state policy by contacting the Albany Police Department about the allegation after they learned the woman hadn’t filed her own complaint with police. “If they [alleged victims] decline, the agency has an obligation to reach out themselves and inform the department of the allegation,” Ms. Garvey said.
A lawyer for the woman said she would speak through the legal process.
Gov. Cuomo Apologizes but Won’t Resign, He Says at Press Conference
At a press conference following allegations of sexual harassment and calls from some to resign, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he apologized if he offended anyone or caused anyone pain by past actions, but he said he isn’t going to resign. Photo: Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (Video from 3/3/21)
The woman became upset last week after watching Mr. Cuomo give a news conference addressing other allegations of inappropriate behavior toward female aides, people familiar with the matter said. The woman then told a colleague what happened, and the colleague then alerted members of Mr. Cuomo’s senior staff, the people said.
Mr. Cuomo’s aides referred the matter this week to independent investigators overseen by Attorney General Letitia James, the people said.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Cuomo said: “As I said yesterday, I have never done anything like this. The details of this report are gut-wrenching. I am not going to speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation given the ongoing review, but I am confident in the result of the Attorney General’s report.”
At the Capitol Thursday morning, nearly 60 Democratic members of the New York state Legislature called for Mr. Cuomo’s resignation and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a news conference that “he can no longer serve as governor” amid the accusations of inappropriate behavior toward female aides and a federal probe of Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes.
New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, shown last June, has questioned whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo can remain in office.PHOTO: HANS PENNINK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
In the statement, the members calling for Mr. Cuomo’s resignation cited the governor’s alleged behavior as well as actions taken by the governor’s advisers to hold back from the public a fuller accounting of the death toll in long-term-care facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.