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Heastie continues to hear criticism from all sides for ending Cuomo impeachment efforts

Aug 16, 2021 6:33 am

Joshua Solomon reports in the Times Union that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie continues to get criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for his unilateral decision to end impeachment efforts against Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Members on the Assembly Judiciary Committee, which was leading the impeachment investigation, say they were not consulted about the decision, which Heastie announced Aug. 13. A damning report from New York's Attorney General two weeks ago that found Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women. There are other investigations into Cuomo's ethics, and his handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes, and the legislature has spent $10.3 million investigating the governor. Cuomo announced last week that he will step down Aug. 24. "The speaker can't muster enough courage to simply do his job," said Charlotte Bennett, one of the women Cuomo is alleged to have harassed. "After spending millions of taxpayer dollars and issuing lofty statements, he's failed to lift a finger to make clear that New York rejects Cuomo's behavior." Heastie said law experts told him that once Cuomo resigned he could not be impeached. But there are other opinions on that issue. Cornell Law Professor Robert Hockett said there was legal authority to continue on with impeachment. But with Heastie's announcement, the result is that Cuomo can run again for governor next year. And in his first interview after announcing resignation, Cuomo was defiant, and claimed he would have won an impeachment trial. "I’m not gonna drag the state through the mud, through a three-month, four-month impeachment, and then win, and have made the State Legislature and the state government look like a ship of fools," he said. Read more about this story in the Times Union.