‘He should simply resign’: De Blasio joins chorus calling for Cuomo to depart over scandals

Mayor Bill de Blasio on March 12, 2021.
Photo by Dean Moses

Mayor Bill de Blasio called for Governor Andrew Cuomo to step down from office on Friday, saying that the governor has “lost the faith” of New Yorkers after dueling scandals over sexual harassment allegations and the state’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes.

“The governor should do the right thing and recognize that he just can’t do the job any longer. He has lost the faith of his fellow leaders around the state, and I think he’s increasingly losing the faith of the people,” Hizzoner said at a press conference. “He should do something that is decent, after these many indecent revelations. He should simply resign.”

In the absence of Cuomo’s resignation, however, de Blasio threw his support behind a growing bipartisan effort to impeach the governor. 

“If he tries to persist in the role, then I think that the impeachment process will resolve it that way,” de Blasio said. 

The process of impeaching the New York State governor, which has only happened once in New York State history, is similar to that of impeaching an American president, beginning with a simple majority threshold in the state’s assembly, before a two-thirds majority requirement in the state senate for conviction — at a trial where the lieutenant governor and judges from the court of appeals preside.

If he were to resign or be removed through an act of the legislature, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul would assume the governor’s office for the remainder of Cuomo’s term, which finishes in January of 2023. 

The calls to oust Cuomo comes amid allegations of sexual impropriety in the workplace — with six different women coming forward with claims that the governor made unwanted advances — as well as claims that the state covered up data regarding deaths from COVID-19 in nursing homes.  

Attorney General Letitia James’s office is currently overseeing investigations into both instances, with an independent law firm taking the lead over the sexual harassment claims.

Politicians from around New York State, including both liberal members of the senate like Julia Salazar (D-Bushwick), and Republican representatives like assembly minority leader William Barclay, all joining the calls for Cuomo’s ouster. 

For his part, the governor has resisted those demands, issuing various apologies and claiming that he intends to continue in office.