Investigations and allegations still surround Governor Andrew Cuomo. Between the nursing home scandal and ongoing sexual harassment claims, New York lawmakers say it’s all become a huge distraction.
“If I didn’t have to say Andrew Cuomo’s name for the next week I would be happy,” said Assemblyman Billy Jones. “I mean everyday it’s something new. For the past two weeks at least, we’ve been totally consumed by it.”
Jones issued a statement Sunday calling for Cuomo to step down. He says he agrees with the state’s top two legislative leaders, both Democrats, who are now urging the governor to resign for the good of the state.
“This is not political, this is nothing more than trying to conduct the people’s business under these circumstances,” he said. “We are in the middle of a global pandemic, we have a budget to deal with.”
Should Cuomo step down, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul would lead the state. But the governor continues to say he won’t resign. He wants the investigation to play out and will take it from there.
“He doesn’t have much to gain by stepping down,” said Harvey Schantz, SUNY Plattsburgh professor and political expert. “By stepping down, he’s admitting what he did was worthy of stepping down so he’s going to wait until the pressure is more than he can bear.”
Schantz says the only New York State governor to be impeached and removed from office took place more than 100 years ago, in 1913 with William Sulzer. He says given recent national politics, the idea of impeachment is front and center.
“The easy reach for impeachment in New York state reflects the recent impeachments of Donald Trump,” he said, “where the impeachment process is viewed as a readied tool for disciplining a chief executive who isn’t meeting job expectations.”