Senate leader Stewart-Cousins tells Cuomo to call it a day as allegations snowball

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (File photo/Charles Eckert)

Leaders of both houses of government are saying enough is enough as a fifth allegation against Governor Andrew Cuomo surfaced Sunday morning stating that despite whether or not the accusations are true, they act as a distraction.

Cuomo railed against repeated calls for his resignation in a press conference just hours earlier, arguing that calling it a day prior to the attorney general’s investigation comes to a conclusion would denying himself due process.

Despite calling these statements against his continued role as executive “anti-democratic,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said the need for his resignation is paramount. 

“Everyday there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government. We have allegations about sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the Covid-19 nursing home data and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project,” Stewart-Cousins said. “New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it. We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie reinforced the assertions of Stewart-Cousins the daily controversy that has orbited around Cuomo were counterproductive to the tasks at hand in Albany.

“The allegations pertaining to the Governor that have been reported in recent weeks have been deeply disturbing, and have no place whatsoever in government, the workplace or anywhere else. I too share the sentiment of Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins regarding the Governor’s ability to continue to lead this state. We have many challenges to address, and I think it is time for the Governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York.”

On Sunday, two additional women came forward describing inappropriate sexual attention from the governor going back as far as 2000 when Cuomo was working in the federal government. Cuomo brushed Karen Hinton’s claim that he had given her a sexually charged hug in a hotel room in the new millenium as the product of her long-standing opposition to him politically.

“I wasn’t elected by politicians. I’m not going to resign because of allegations. The premise of resigning because of allegations is actually anti-democratic. We’ve always done the exact opposite, you know, the system is based on due process. The credibility of the allegation, anybody has the ability to make an allegation in democracy, and that’s great. But it’s in the credibility of the allegation,” Cuomo told reporters Sunday.

This is no sudden turn against the governor: last week a resolution stripped Cuomo of the emergency powers he took at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, if Cuomo plans to govern through executive order, the legislature will be able to waylay any policy he plans to impose as long as 50% of members vote against the action.