Aug. 13 (UPI) — The New York state Assembly plans to suspend its impeachment investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo citing his resignation amid sexual harassment allegations, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Friday.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee opened an impeachment probe of Cuomo in March to look at the allegations and determine if he should be removed from office. Cuomo’s resignation announcement Tuesday “answers that directive,” Heastie said.
“Let me be clear — the committee’s work over the last several months, although not complete, did uncover credible evidence in relation to allegations that have been made in reference to the governor,” Heastie said.
“Underscoring the depth of this investigation, this evidence concerned not only sexual harassment and misconduct but also the misuse of state resources in relation to the publication of the governor’s memoir as well as improper and misleading disclosure of nursing home data during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
“This evidence — we believe — could likely have resulted in articles of impeachment had he not resigned.”
Heastie said he asked committee Chairman Charles Lavine to turn over all evidence the panel gathered to the authorities.
Cuomo resigned one week after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that an investigation by her office found the governor sexually harassed multiple both inside and out of government. The inquiry found Cuomo took steps to retaliate against one of his accusers and his administration fostered a hostile workplace.
“After nearly five months, the investigators concluded that Gov. Cuomo did sexually harass multiple women — including former and current state employees — by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments,” James’ office said in a statement.
Cuomo for months denied any wrongdoing and resisted calls for his resignation.
But in his resignation speech, he said he takes “full responsibility” for his actions, saying that some of the complaints against him were a part of shifting cultural norms that he did not pick up on.
“I have been too familiar with people,” Cuomo said. “My sense of humor can be insensitive and off-putting. I do hug and kiss people casually, women and men. I have done it all of my life. It’s who I have been since I can remember.
“In my mind, I never crossed the line with anyone. But I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I didn’t fully appreciate, and I should have.”