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Stewart-Cousins, Heastie call for Cuomo to step down

Mar 08, 2021 6:33 am

Brendan J. Lyons and Steve Hughes are reporting for the Times Union Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Sun., Mar. 7, called for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to resign as additional allegations of sexual harassment were coming to light. Minutes after Stewart-Cousins went public with her comments, Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie also called for Cuomo to consider stepping aside. Hours earlier, Cuomo had declared that he will stay in office pending the outcome of an investigation being steered by the attorney general's office. Stewart-Cousins noted that every day brings more stories that continue to draw attention away from the business of government. She said in a statement, "...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 Gov. Cuomo must resign." The demand by Stewart-Cousins could trigger calls from other lawmakers for the governor to resign, especially Democrats. Heastie called the allegations against Cuomo "deeply disturbing" and said that type of behavior has "no place whatsoever in government, the workplace or anywhere else." Saying he shares the sentiment expressed by Stewart-Cousins concerning the governor's ability to continue to lead this state, Heastie said in the statement, "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 said in the hours leading up to Stewart-Cousins' statement that the allegations and calls for his resignation are irrelevant, until the now pending investigation is completed. Cuomo said he is focused on the state's coronavirus response and the state budget due in three weeks. Read the full story in the Times Union.

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