Poloncarz: “We’d have a friend in Albany” if Hochul stepped into Governor role

Cuomo Under Fire

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Wednesday afternoon, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz covered a number of topics, including COVID-19, the Buffalo Bills and the recently-released report on sexual harassment allegations involving Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

MORE | Total new COVID cases in Erie County increased 80% in last two weeks

On Tuesday, Poloncarz released a statement on the report:

“From the beginning, when accusations of sexual harassment against Governor Cuomo first surfaced, I called for an independent investigation to be conducted by the Attorney General’s Office and recommended waiting until the completion of that investigation before offering any comment on the merit of the claims.

The investigation into these accusations has concluded with a report, announced today by NYS Attorney General James, that not only confirmed many of the previous allegations but also identified others that had not been known and were corroborated by witnesses. Sexual harassment in any form can never be tolerated. Based on the thorough, detailed nature of the report and the corroborated findings of sexual harassment and a toxic work environment presented therein, Governor Cuomo must resign.”  

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz

MORE | Local, state leaders react to results of Cuomo investigation – Hochul, Schumer, Gillibrand, Ortt & more

During Wednesday’s conference, Poloncarz called the report “thorough,” “exhaustive” and “damning.”

Poloncarz tied the controversy into the current talks about a new stadium for the Bills, but said that whether or not the Governor steps down, negotiations involving the Bills and a new stadium won’t be affected.

MORE | Erie County Health Commissioner concerned over low vaccine rate among 12-15 age group

The conversation between Poloncarz and reporters also turned into questions about Kathy Hochul — the western New York native who’s serving as Lieutenant Governor, and the person who would take over for Cuomo if he resigns or is impeached.

MORE | Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is next in line as governor if Gov. Cuomo resigns or is impeached – a look at her career

Watch Wednesday’s conference in its entirety here:

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

Kayla Green is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.

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