Assembly impeachment investigation of Cuomo nearing finish line

Cuomo Under Fire

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a news conference in Manhattan on May 5, 2021. (Photo by SPENCER PLATT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Members of the New York State Assembly’s Judiciary Committee are preparing to return to Albany and review a draft report of their impeachment investigation of former Governor Andrew Cuomo. On November 18 and 19, members of that committee will review the report prepared by Davis Polk & Wardwell, Chairman Charles Lavine said.

Assemblyman Michael Montesano, the ranking Republican on the committee, said the final report could be issued in weeks.

“I’m speculating. Could it be another week? Ten days after we see it? Could it be two weeks after we see it? I’m trying to be optimistic, cautiously optimistic, that maybe before Thanksgiving this could be wrapped up, if not shortly thereafter,” Montesano said.

In addition to sexual harassment allegations made against Cuomo, the Assembly is looking into other issues including his administration’s handling of nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic and his book deal.

“I think when you look at the report in its totality, and the different subject matters that it’s going to cover, I think when you put everything together, I would think that there’s going to be some issues in there that (Cuomo) is going to have to deal with,” Montesano predicted.

A separate investigation overseen by New York State Attorney General Letitia James concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, according to a report released in August. On Wednesday, James’ office released more than 2,300 pages of transcripts from interviews conducted over the course of the investigation.

“Finally — after three months for stalling — Tish James has been forced to release transcripts as more and more people are questioning her shoddy and politically motivated report,” said Rich Azzopardi, Cuomo’s spokesperson.

Cuomo has denied wrongdoing and Azzopardi claimed the case “reeks of prosecutorial misconduct”.

“You’re going to see a lot of different stuff come out in our report that has nothing to do with the attorney general,” Montesano said of the impeachment report.

In August, when Cuomo announced he would resign, the Assembly announced it would complete its impeachment investigation. Lawyers had determined someone no longer in office could not be impeached, Speaker Carl Heastie said. However, he added the evidence gathered “could likely” have resulted in articles of impeachment.”

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.

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