ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) – Despite a bombshell report from the New York State Attorney General saying Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, the New York State Assembly is not rushing toward an immediate impeachment vote.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee, which is overseeing the investigation, met Monday to layout a timeline for the future. Assemblyman Charles Lavine, the committee’s chairman, said members will meet behind closed doors on August 16 and 23. There will then be public hearings, in which experts in the field of sexual harassment and impeachment are expected to testify.
“Time may endure to the benefit of the governor. It may not,” Lavine said. “As far as we are concerned, when we talk about time, we are talking about finishing this process within a matter of weeks.”
Cuomo continues to ignore calls for his resignation, putting the Assembly process under the microscope. The governor says he never touched anyone inappropriately nor made inappropriate sexual advances. But the Assembly is moving forward with its process.
“After the committee has completed its review of the evidence, it will make a recommendation to the full Assembly on whether to proceed with impeachment against Governor Cuomo,” Lavine said.
Some Cuomo opponents have asked the Assembly to take up an immediate vote on impeachment. Last week, the Assembly’s Republican leader wrote a letter to Speaker Carl Heastie asking for just that.
“The investigation into sexual harassment allegations and report issued Tuesday by Attorney General Letitia James confirm the governor acted in a reckless and repugnant manner unfit for the highest office of the state,” Barclay wrote. “While the Assembly has undertaken its own impeachment investigation, the details revealed by the attorney general and independent investigators are too appalling to ignore and warrant swift and decisive action.”
But it doesn’t appear that will happen.
“I just want people to understand that you want to make sure this is a process that nobody can say they were treated unfairly,” Heastie said Monday.
If the Assembly votes to impeach, a trial would take place with senators and court of appeals judges making up the court. The state’s judiciary law says the court for the trial of impeachments must be summoned 30-60 days after the articles of impeachment are delivered.
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.