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Democrats in State Legislature Want Swift Impeachment for Cuomo, Amid Concerns About a Range of Issues the State Faces

Scott Willis
Andrew Cuomo appearing at an event in Syracuse. He is now facing an impeachment investigation over sexual harassment charges, along with possible ethics problems with a book deal and charges of misrepresenting nursing home deaths.

Members of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Democratic party are anxious to move along the impeachment process against him. But they also have other concerns. Assembly member Phil Steck is on the Judiciary Committee that will come up with article of impeachment. He says Cuomo has been given a deadline of next Friday to make any statements against the sexual harassment charges and other issues on which he’s begin investigated.

“After the Governor responds, if he does respond, the attorneys will have to consider that, meet with the judiciary committee, then a determination will be made: what particular issues should be included. I think it’s difficult to imagine at this point in time, that sexual harassment would not be one of them.”

He says he had heard prior that the work environment in the Cuomo administration was difficult, making the allegations of workplace harassment more believable. Fellow Democratic Assembly Member Patricia Fahy says she remains disturbed by the findings of Monday’s Attorney General report. She believes there’s enough evidence to start drawing some conclusions.

“It is clear that sexual harassment has, in my view, occurred here. There was a hostile work environment. We as elected officials are, by definition, held to a higher standard. And he needs to be held to that higher standard. The culture has changed; this is just not acceptable.”

Fahe is further worried the allegations leave the Governor unable to govern.

“Make no mistake, when you are this distracted with a crisis, look at gun violence. We started many of the accelerated conversations in early July. Those should have been months ago. So yes, I think the crisis does distract. That’s why we have to move with all judicious speed, but we do need to get back to these other crises.”

Both Fahy and Steck have called for the Governor to step down. Steck adds the state Democratic Party needs to consider possible candidates to run for Governor next year.

“Impeachment or none, this Governor should not be the candidate of the Democratic Party for Governor in 2022. I think it would be better for him to gracefully depart and show that this era is over, and let’s move onto something better.”

The impeachment process is expected to last at least another month.

Rules of Impeachment in New York State

  • The assembly shall have the power of impeachment by a vote of a majority of all the members elected thereto.
  • The court for the trial of impeachments shall be composed of the president of the senate, the senators, or the major part of them, and the judges of the court of appeals, or the major part of them.
  • On the trial of an impeachment against the governor or lieutenant-governor, neither the lieutenant-governor nor the temporary president of the senate shall act as a member of the court.
  • Before the trial of an impeachment, the members of the court shall take an oath or affirmation truly and impartially to try the impeachment according to the evidence, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.
  • Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, or removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any public office of honor, trust, or profit under this state.
  • The party impeached shall be liable to indictment and punishment according to law.
Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.