Ortt, others react to Cuomo resignation

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 August 2021 at 1:35 pm

‘The Governor’s pervasive harassment and coverups cast a dark cloud over our State Capitol and took us away from the important work facing this state.’ – Rob Ortt

Local state and federal elected officials have released statements, following Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that he will be resigning as governor, effective in 14 days.

Assemblyman Michael Norris, R-Lockport, issued this statement:

“At last, Gov. Cuomo is allowing the people of New York state to move forward by offering his resignation and ending this dark and difficult chapter in our state’s history.

“As a lifelong Western New Yorker, I look forward to working together with our state’s first female governor, Kathy Hochul, to continue to strengthen our region and help our state’s economic recovery.”

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

“Now that the governor has done the right thing and resigned, we can focus on bettering the lives of the working people of this state once again. This is the third high-ranking official that has stepped down due to improper conduct during my tenure, and I hope we can come together and work to assure it’s the last and that conduct like that of Andrew Cuomo’s is never left unchecked.

“I do want to congratulate Kathy Hochul, who will be our next Governor in two weeks, and hope we can work together in bipartisan fashion to do more for the people of this state than ever before.”

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

“Today marks one small step toward restoring honor, decency, and accountability to New York State government. I hope today also brings some measure of justice to the brave women who had the courage to come forward against a powerful and vindictive political figure.

“Over the past year, Andrew Cuomo’s credibility completely fell apart. Now, following his overdue resignation, it will never be repaired. The Governor’s pervasive harassment and coverups cast a dark cloud over our State Capitol and took us away from the important work facing this state.

“Andrew Cuomo broke the law, lied about it, and shamelessly smeared the women who came forward. His resignation is welcome, but it stops short of the justice his victims and the people of New York deserve. The FBI, the State Attorney General, and other proper authorities must also be allowed to continue their work investigating all of the possible crimes related to our state’s nursing homes crisis and the Governor’s questionable book deal. The Legislature must examine the Cuomo administration’s many failings in public forums as soon as possible so that these abuses of power will never happen under another administration.

“We must also acknowledge the fact that the Democrats in the Legislature failed to hold Andrew Cuomo or his administration accountable, despite our repeated calls to do so.

“Well after the numerous credible allegations were made against Andrew Cuomo, Democrats in both the Senate and Assembly stood by him, normalizing his behavior and enabling him to cling to power. I hope those in the Legislature – and other powerful figures around the state – reflect on their own actions in response to Andrew Cuomo’s disturbing behavior. The vocal support and the deafening silence of many helped keep Andrew Cuomo in power far longer than he deserved.

“In 14 days we will have our first female Governor. I’d like to congratulate Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, a fellow Western New Yorker, on becoming the first woman to assume leadership of this state. My fellow Senators and I look forward to working with Governor Hochul as we continue to tackle the issues of rising crime, our state’s struggling economy, and the resurgence of the Covid-19 virus.”

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy, a former lieutenant governor who served in Cuomo’s first term, issued this statement:

“An expectation of leadership is to take responsibility for one’s actions. Resignation is a personal decision, and I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to resign. This decision will hopefully prevent further trauma for the courageous women who came forward and it allows State government to get on with the business of serving New Yorkers.

“I offer my full support to incoming Governor Kathy Hochul. Kathy is a friend, a colleague, and a remarkable representative of the people of the State of New York. She will serve in the same way she has for her entire career in public service: with honor, tenacity, compassion, and dignity.”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, issued this statement:

“First and foremost, I want to thank the incredibly courageous women who came forward and shared their stories. They are the true public servants here. New York now has a chance to move forward and build a new culture of leadership. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is an exceptional public servant and will be an excellent governor. I look forward to working together to continue serving the people of our great state.”

Congressman Chris Jacobs issued this statement:

“Andrew Cuomo’s resignation is long overdue, and needed to move our state government past the multiple scandals he and his staff inflicted on the citizens of New York. Despite his resignation, criminal investigations of the Cuomo administration must continue to ensure justice is served.”

Jack Marren, President of the New York State Association of Counties, issued this statement:

“Today’s announcement that Governor Cuomo will step aside brings needed closure to the uncertainty that has paralyzed our state for the last week. The last year and half has shown that counties are essential in the fight against controlling a resurgent Covid-19 pandemic and leading the economic revival of our communities. We need stability in government to ensure essential services continue for the people of New York.

“Lieutenant Governor Hochul understands the present state of the state and will need to engage immediately. We look forward to beginning this new chapter under the leadership of a dedicated public servant and former local government leader who understands the essential role of counties in the lives of New Yorkers.

“Our counties stand ready to support this transition and will continue our ongoing work to make our communities stronger, safer and better places to live, work, and raise a family.”