Recently, New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo came under fire after multiple reports surfaced accusing the state leader of sexual harassment. Allegations against Cuomo suggest he made inappropriate sexual remarks to several former aides, even going as far as asking one woman whether she had been involved with older men.
The New York Assembly announced late Thursday that it had taken its first steps toward initiating procedures to kick off an impeachment investigation against Cuomo amid the recent concerning allegations.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie revealed in release that he had authorized the Assembly Judiciary Committee to open an impeachment probe against Cuomo, highlighting that it will look into both the sexual harassment allegations and the COVID-19-related deaths that went unreported at state nursing homes.
“The reports of accusations concerning the governor are serious,” Heastie noted in the statement. “The committee will have the authority to interview witnesses, subpoena documents and evaluate evidence, as is allowed by the New York State Constitution.”
“I have the utmost faith that Assemblymember Lavine and the members of the committee will conduct an expeditious, full and thorough investigation,” Heastie added.
The probe will be led by Chair Charles D. Lavine, and “will not interfere” with the independent investigation being carried out by New York Attorney General Letitia James, according to the release.
To date, more than half of the state legislators have called on Cuomo to resign from his post in light of the increasing sexual harassment allegations. Earlier Thursday, a groping incident allegedly involving Cuomo was referred to the Albany Police Department.
In a subsequent response to the development, James reiterated that the legislature’s probe “will have no bearing” on her office’s investigation, which is being headed by both employment discrimination attorney Anne Clark and Joon Kim, who previously served as the acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York.
The latest development came after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined calls urging Cuomo to resign as new allegations surfaced from a sixth accuser. At the time, de Blasio referred to the allegations as “absolutely unacceptable” and “disgusting.”
“He can no longer serve as governor,” the mayor said in remarks to reporters.
Despite the growing calls over the pair of scandals, Cuomo has repeatedly stated that he has no intention to step down from his post as governor. Most recently, Cuomo rejected resignation calls during a Sunday phone call with reporters, saying that stepping down would be “anti-Democratic.” He has stated that he will cooperate with investigation taken up by attorney general’s office.