State Senate Dem leader calls on Cuomo to step down

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 March 2021 at 4:05 pm

‘For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.’ – Andrea Stewart-Cousins

ALBANY – The leader of the State Senate, one of the most powerful Democrats in the state government, has called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step down.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate Majority Leader, issued this statement this afternoon:

“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.

“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.”

Many Republicans in the state Legislature, including Senate Minority leader Rob Ortt of North Tonawanda and Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia, have urged Cuomo to resign. Many elected Democrats, however, have urged the public to hold off on condemnation until an investigation is completed by the State Attorney General’s office on the accusations against Cuomo.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie didn’t call for the governor’s resignation but said the allegations are “deeply disturbing.” Heastie followed Stewart-Cousins with this statement:

“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.”

Cuomo in a conference call with reporters today urged the public to let the process go forward with the Attorney General’s Office. The state has a system based on due process and determining the credibility of allegations, he said.

“There are some legislators who suggest that I resign because of accusations that are made against me,” Cuomo said. “I was elected by the people of the state, 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 and we’ve always done the exact opposite.”