Area reps send consistent message
Calls for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign suddenly grew much louder locally and statewide Tuesday after a monthslong investigation confirmed he sexually harassed women.
State Sen. George Borrello, a frequent critic of the governor since taking office, said an investigation into the governor’s actions resulted in “even more disturbing” details coming to light than what were previously known.
The Sunset Bay Republican said the women put their careers and reputations on the line by coming forward.
“Now that the Attorney General has conducted the due diligence that the Governor himself asked for, he needs to resign immediately,” Borrello said in a statement. “If he refuses, the Democrat-led majorities in the Senate and Assembly must demonstrate the leadership this moment demands and begin impeachment proceedings.”
Assemblyman Andrew Goodell was just as adamant.
“It is completely unacceptable that the governor has engaged in extensive sexual harassment, as well documented by the Attorney General’s report,” he said. “If Gov. Cuomo does not accept personal responsibility and resign, then I fully support calling the New York State Assembly into special session for the purpose of impeaching the governor.”
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, both of whom previously called on Cuomo to resign, reiterated the call in a joint statement.
“As we have said before, the reported actions of the Governor were profoundly disturbing, inappropriate and completely unacceptable,” they said. “Today’s report from the New York State Attorney General substantiated and corroborated the allegations of the brave women who came forward to share their stories — and we commend the women for doing so.”
They added: “No elected official is above the law. The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor’s office. We continue to believe that the Governor should resign.”
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Tuesday represented a “sad day for New York.” He said the report documents “unacceptable workplace behavior in the Executive Chamber at the highest level of state leadership.”
DiNapoli again stated that the governor should step down.
Should Cuomo resign or be removed from office prior to his term ending, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul would become governor. In a statement, Hochul noted that sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace, and certainly not in public service. She said the state Attorney General’s investigation documented “repulsive and unlawful behavior by the Governor towards multiple women. I believe these brave women and admire their courage coming forward.
“No one is above the law. Under the New York Constitution, the Assembly will now determine the next steps.
“Because Lieutenant Governors stand next in the line of succession, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the process at this moment.”
Even county executive candidate and current county Democratic chair Norm Green was looking to the future without the current governor. “Today’s concluding four-month investigation and report from the office of state Attorney General Letitia James that finds Gov. Cuomo had violated New York state and federal law leads me to demand that Gov. Cuomo resign today,” he said. “I look forward to working with Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul as our next governor.”