The New York State Assembly suspends its investigation for a possible impeachment against the governor, Andrew Cuomo, once his resignation is made official, its president, Carl Heastie, announced on Friday.
Cuomo resigned last Tuesday after being accused of sexual harassment by several women, but he was given 14 days to step down and pass the witness to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.
In a statement, Heastie justified the decision by the fact that the central objective of the legislators’ investigation was to determine whether or not the governor should remain in power and assured that, according to his interpretation, state regulations do not allow to carry out the impeachment process against someone who has already left their post.
A New York Assembly committee had been investigating Cuomo for months following allegations of harassment by several women, but also for other issues, including information on the management of nursing homes at the start of the pandemic.
According to the leader of the House, in its work the committee gathered “credible” evidence on the alleged cases of harassment, but also on the issue of nursing homes and the misuse of public resources for the publication of Cuomo’s memoirs.
“This evidence, we believe, could probably have resulted in articles for impeachment if he had not resigned,” said Heastie, who said that all information will be passed on to the appropriate authorities for their investigations.
The harassment allegations against Cuomo are being scrutinized by prosecutors in several New York counties, while federal prosecutors have been looking into the issue of covid-19 data in nursing homes.
Several legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, had asked in recent days to continue with the process for an eventual “impeachment” in order to ensure that the governor can not return to public office in New York.
Cuomo, who has been in charge of the state for a decade, became one of the most popular politicians in the United States at the beginning of the pandemic for his daily appearances on television to report on covid-19.
In the following months, however, he starred in a resounding fall until he was left without support and pressured by his party colleagues to resign in light of the repeated accusations against him.
A report prepared by the state Attorney General’s Office and published this month detailed his alleged sexual harassment of 11 women in the workplace and denounced a hostile and toxic work environment in his office. EFE