Local state legislators react to Cuomo impeachment report

Staff Reports Posted 22 November 2021 at 1:59 pm

‘I am outraged by the former Governor’s pattern of deceit, manipulation and mistrust to fulfill his own personal gain and ego.’ – Assemblyman Norris

The local state legislators have all issued statements after a report was released today by the State Assembly into actions by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The investigation concluded Cuomo sexually harassed at least a dozen women, was not fully transparent about the number of nursing home residents who died as a result of Covid-19 and used taxpayer resources to help write and promote his 2020 book on leadership during early weeks of the pandemic.

State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, issued this statement:

“After nine months of slow-walking, starts and stops, and one of the least transparent political processes in New York history, it is a great relief for taxpayers that the Assembly has finally concluded their sham Cuomo impeachment “investigation.”

This report is no profile in courage – it’s a profile in cowardice. For months, the Democrat-led Judiciary Committee was content to let our state Attorney General and law enforcement agencies do their job for them. At the same time, Democrats in the Senate repeatedly protected and covered-up for New York’s disgraced ex-governor by refusing to use their subpoena power.

Democrats in the Legislature completely failed in their duty to hold ex-Governor Cuomo accountable. To be clear, it is only because of intense public pressure that these findings were finally made available.

I will continue to advocate the passage of Senate Bill No. 7336 by my colleague Senator Dan Stec, which would clarify the Legislature’s constitutional right to impeach and convict a former public official.  It is only through the impeachment process that we can be assured Andrew Cuomo never holds public office again.

My Republican colleagues and I will never stop fighting for true and transparent justice, for the sake of Cuomo’s nursing home victims, his harassment victims, and every other one of his victims. We remain hopeful that the findings of the multiple ongoing criminal investigations will finally bring about true accountability – New Yorkers deserve nothing less.

State Assemblyman Mike Norris, R-Lockport, issued this statement:

“The impeachment report speaks for itself and finds that the former Governor Andrew Cuomo betrayed the public’s trust. Based on substantial evidence, this investigation determined that the former Governor engaged in multiple instances of sexual harassment, utilized state resources and property to write, publish and promote his book which gained him $5.2M in guaranteed personal profit, and was not fully transparent regarding the number of nursing home residents who died as a result of Covid-19.

I am outraged by the former Governor’s pattern of deceit, manipulation and mistrust to fulfill his own personal gain and ego; including the former chief executive of our state indicating that he and his staff worked around the clock on the Covid-19 response, while they were in fact spending significant time and state resources and influencing data reports for the publication and promotion of this book for his own personal profit. This is completely egregious and troubling, especially considering that our schools, businesses and families needed the full attention of the former Governor and his administration on guidance and assistance for critical Covid-19 issues.

However, I still find it most telling that the former Governor himself chose to announce his resignation the day following the Judiciary Committee’s meeting and press conference held by the Speaker and Judiciary Committee Chair on August 9th when it became abundantly clear that impeachment was coming instead of facing an impeachment trial. His resignation also speaks for itself.

I remain frustrated that the impeachment investigation did not move more quickly and that impeachment appears to no longer be an option based upon legislative history. Regardless, the former Governor must be held accountable for his actions and the next step now rests in the hands of professional law enforcement officials who are handling multiple investigations into his conduct. The Committee, through Polk Davis, will continue cooperating with these investigations, and this report was prepared understandably with those interests in mind.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, issued this statement:

“The actions described in the Assembly Judiciary’s report are unbefitting of any elected official, let alone the governor of New York state. I am thankful appropriate law enforcement agencies have been forwarded relevant materials from the investigation and thank the Judiciary Committee for their dedicated, meticulous work putting together this report. Additionally, the witnesses and victims who came forward to share their stories are to be commended for their bravery in speaking up when facing threats of retaliation.”