New York Assembly to suspend Gov. Cuomo impeachment investigation

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says he's ending the probe because they believe the state constitution does not allow the legislator to impeach and remove an elected official who is no longer in office.

News 12 Staff

Aug 13, 2021, 10:09 PM

Updated 1,037 days ago

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The New York State Assembly will suspend its investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Aug. 25 after he officially resigns from office.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says he's ending the probe because they believe the state constitution does not allow the legislator to impeach and remove an elected official who is no longer in office, but a memo released by the committee's attorneys is less definitive.
That document says it's "probably not" constitutional to go forward with impeachment, and the committee is playing it safe even though they say they have evidence most likely leading to articles of impeachment.
Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman weighed in, saying, "This is an open question. I don't think it's clear either way."
The Assembly Judiciary Committee was investigating allegations of sexual harassment against the governor, whether his administration covered up COVID-19 nursing home deaths, and if he used state resources to help him write his pandemic book, among other things, since March.
The decision to drop the probe has split the Assembly -- some support ending the inquiry while others say there's no accountability.
"The committee should continue to meet and draft a report to the people on the extensive investigation that the committee and its attorneys have conducted to date," said Assembly member Tom Abbinanti.
"In terms of the actual impeachment investigation, it doesn't seem that the constitution contemplated that," said Assembly member Ken Zebrowski, who's on the Judiciary Committee.
The state Senate's top Republican, Rob Ortt, said in a statement, "The decision from Assembly Democrats to suspend the impeachment investigation reeks of a shady deal to protect Andrew Cuomo."
"They all deserve justice and accountability and right now we don't have that. I'm extremely disappointed in the speaker," said Assembly member Kevin Byrne.
Lawmakers say Monday's meeting, which would've been used to go over the evidence, has been canceled.
The committee is turning over its findings to both law enforcement and the state Attorney General to aid in their investigations.


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