Local lawmakers join call for Cuomo resignation

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ALBANY — On Thursday, calls from local state lawmakers for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign or be impeached in the state Assembly continued as a group of 59 Democratic state legislators demanded Cuomo’s resignation in the wake of the allegation at the Executive Mansion.

This comes in the wake of allegations of sexual assault and a mismanaged statewide nursing home policy relating to COVID-19 that is now under investigation.

The top Democrat in the state Assembly, Speaker Carl Heastie, said he would caucus with members Thursday to discuss “potential paths forward” in light of mounting allegations. Nineteen senators and 40 Assembly members said via a letter Thursday that it was time for Cuomo to go. In New York, the Assembly is the legislative house that could move to impeach Cuomo, who has faced multiple allegations that he made the workplace an uncomfortable place for young women with sexually suggestive remarks and behavior, including unwanted touching and a kiss.

The area’s representatives in Albany are calling for the governor’s resignation also. Among their statements: 

State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, noted: “Troubling sexual harassment allegations, as well as a potential sexual assault claim. Mismanaged nursing homes policies that have resulted in deaths and withholding and concealing important information. Arbitrary and inconsistent directives and executive orders. A toxic work environment. A botched and confusing COVID-19 vaccine distribution process. Weaponizing state agencies and threatening legislators. Reports of hiding structural deficiencies on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo/Tappan Zee Bridge.”

“These all contribute to a lack of confidence in this governor and his ability to do the job,” Griffo stated. “It is clear that the governor’s credibility and effectiveness is in question. While he should step down, he has continued to resist, which is why I also support the impeachment process commencing immediately in the Assembly.”

“There are a number of important issues confronting our state, including ongoing efforts to mitigate COVID-19, stimulate economic recovery and negotiate the upcoming budget. However, the Governor is damaged and distracted and his defiance is dangerous and disingenuous at such a critical moment for New York,” Griffo added.

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, Marcy, announced that she asked for Cuomo to step aside. 

“Over the past weeks, we’ve learned of the harrowing reports exposing the undercounting and attempted cover-up surrounding the state’s COVID-19 nursing home deaths, ongoing sexual harassment allegations, and reports of structural deficiencies on the Mario M. Cuomo/Tappan Zee Bridge.

“I firmly believe in due process and all investigations must continue, but the government must also continue to function. There is a cloud that hangs over this Governor which distracts us from the COVID- 19 crisis and recovery plans. Our priority is to ensure that we work to meet the needs of all the residents of New York and the Governor stepping down will make sure that our work is not compromised.”

State Sen. Rachel May, D-53, Syracuse, also has said she agrees with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who has also called for Cuomo’s resignation. “As I have stated previously, it has been getting harder and harder to see a way forward to doing our jobs with this governor in place. Given the increasing number of allegations, the recent expose on potential alteration of nursing home data, and now serious questions on the viability of a major infrastructure project, we have reached that point. For the good of the people, we must be able to do our jobs and serve the public without constant distraction,” May said.

Assemblyman John Salka, R-121, Brookfield, added that has joined the Assembly Minority Conference in announcing an impeachment resolution, which, of acted upon, would begin the impeachment process as two more women have come forward over the weekend with detailed accounts of sexual harassment by the governor.

“The governor has made it clear he will not willingly resign, it is now the Legislature’s job to take action and move forward with impeachment,” said Salka. “Republicans in the state Legislature have been calling for the governor to resign since the attorney general confirmed he purposely underreported nursing home deaths. The governor has shown he can no longer lead and we need to hold him accountable for the numerous scandals he has created.”

Added Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-101, New Hartford: “Given that new allegations, scandals and issues which continue to pile up against the governor every day, I do not believe he can successfully lead the state of New York any longer. It is in New York’s best interest that he resigns from his role as governor. He has done enough damage to our state and many have lost faith in him as a leader. Should he refuse to resign, which he is currently doing, I support the Minority Conference’s introduction of an Impeachment Resolution to remove the governor from power.”

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