VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — Some Southern Tier lawmakers are in favor of continuing impeachment proceedings against Gov. Andrew Cuomo despite his announcement Tuesday that he would resign in two weeks. Meanwhile, another is more tepid.
Even with his resignation, the state legislature may pursue impeachment, which could prohibit Cuomo from seeking public office in New York again.
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-123), speaking at a press conference in Binghamton after Cuomo announced his resignation, would not say whether she thinks the assembly should continue its impeachment investigation to bar Cuomo from running for office in the future.
“I’m going to leave that to the judiciary committee to decide,” Lupardo said. “There’s a lot of moving parts here. I wouldn’t want to presume to judge their work at this point, but I’m certain that we would be open to it if that’s their decision.”
In a written statement released at the same time as the press conference, Lupardo wrote that “a protracted impeachment process would not have benefited anyone.”
Lupardo waited until a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James, released last week, to call on Cuomo to resign. The report found that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. After the report came out, Lupardo called the governor’s behavior “egregious.”
Cuomo has denied allegations of misconduct.
The assembly’s impeachment probe not only includes sexual harassment allegations against the governor, but also alleged alteration of COVID-19 nursing home death data, use of state employees in writing Cuomo’s recently published book, and mishandling of construction contracts on the Mario Cuomo Bridge.
Assemblymember Anna Kelles (D-125) called on Cuomo to resign in February. Kelles said she is in favor of continuing the assembly’s impeachment investigation.
“The impeachment investigation should continue so that all of that can be brought to light, not just this one investigation,” Kelles told WSKG on Tuesday. “And also, it’s very important that we make the decision based on the evidence that is gathered whether or not he should be allowed to ever run for office again.”
Both Democrats praised Cuomo’s decision to resign. They were joined by Republicans including Sens. Tom O’Mara (R-58) and Fred Akshar (R-52).
“He believes justice should be served,” a spokesperson for Akshar wrote to WSKG when asked if the senator believes the assembly should continue its impeachment proceedings. “And the various investigations into a number of issues, including his handling and subsequent coverup of thousands of nursing home deaths, should not go overlooked, but in the end any course the Assembly takes must be expeditious.”
O’Mara touched on the continuing investigations in a press release Tuesday.
“It is important to move forward,” O’Mara wrote. “It is also important that all of the investigations into the misconduct and misdeeds of the Cuomo administration be carried out to their fullest extent for the sake of justice. Too many lives have been shattered and everyone responsible for the cover-ups and illegal actions that have come to define this administration must be held accountable.”