‘It is time for Governor Cuomo to resign’: legislators search for options amid scandal

New York Legislature
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, speaks to reporters about legislation progress outside the Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

Up to 59 Albany lawmakers are turning from all hope of redemption for Governor Andrew Cuomo with a petition calling for his resignation on Thursday and leaders are weighing their options regarding his ongoing string sexual harassment allegations.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie issued a statement leaving the public with more questions than answers, but speculation would point toward impeachment as many other lawmakers have rallied behind that option.

“In light of the allegations concerning the Governor over the last several weeks, I will be meeting with members in conference today on potential paths forward,” Heastie said.

While Heastie has kept his language mild in regard to what needs to happen next with the governor, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has held little back in calling for his resignation.

Of the members signing onto the letter calling for Cuomo’s resignation, the vast majority representing senate and assembly districts within the five boroughs, and called on Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul to take the reins even before Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into the six individual allegations concludes.

“In light of the Governor’s admission of inappropriate behavior and the findings of altered data on nursing home COVID-19 deaths he has lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature, rendering him ineffective in this time of most urgent need,” the joint statement read. “We are fully confident in the Attorney General’s ability to investigate this matter thoroughly… In the meantime, the governor needs to put the people of New York first.”

With Cuomo himself repeatedly urging critics to hold their tongues until a report on James’ investigation is revealed to the public, stating that calls for his resignation or impeachment were punishment without due process, Hochul issued a statement on the progress of the probe at that point in time.

“I am confident everyone’s voice will be heard and taken seriously. I trust the inquiry to be completed as thoroughly and expeditiously as possible,” Hochul said. “New Yorkers should be confident that through this process they will soon learn the facts.”

After nearly a year of national adoration for Governor Cuomo, his popularity has made almost a complete 180 degree turn in light of six women coming forward to explain how they have allegedly been the subject of harassment, the latest being a current executive chamber staffer.

“The specific allegation that the governor called an employee of his, someone who he had power over, called them to a private place and then sexually assaulted her, is absolutely unacceptable,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday. It is disgusting to me and he can no longer serve as governor. It’s as simple as that.”

Governor Cuomo has kept his circle tight since late February, hosting few and short Q&A sessions with reporters which mainly revolve around the accusations against him when press conferences are held.