by Steve Bittenbender, The Center Square
As New York state Attorney General Letitia James said on Tuesday, her office’s independent investigation that substantiated sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo has wrapped up its work. But that ending has led to several beginnings.
Since the release of the bombshell 165-page report, four district attorney offices in the state have announced they will investigate incidents that the report stated happened in their jurisdictions.
“We are reviewing the deeply disturbing findings of the Attorney General’s report regarding the Governor’s alleged conduct,” Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith said in a statement Wednesday. “We have requested the Attorney General’s records related to any incidents that occurred in Nassau County and will thoroughly and expeditiously investigate any potential crimes.”
Also on Wednesday, Danny Frost, the director of communications for Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr., said a similar request was put in for incidents that took place in the New York City borough. As did Westchester County prosecutor Mimi Rocah.
They join the Albany County District Attorney, which issued statements on social media Tuesday.
“We will be providing a comprehensive list of victim services referral agencies in the coming days, and we encourage anyone with additional information to contact our office,” the Albany DA’s statement on Facebook said.
Those investigations now pile on top of the other investigations into the Cuomo administration. That includes federal inquiries into how the administration handled nursing home policies and data during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the state Assembly Judiciary Committee’s impeachment review.
Cuomo said Tuesday that the facts “are much different than what has been portrayed” in the report. However, the governor who was already facing slipping poll numbers and eroding support only got more calls for his resignation or impeachment in the aftermath.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that more than half of the 150 state Assembly members support impeaching Cuomo should he choose not to resign. That would be enough to send the matter to the Senate for an impeachment trial that could result in the governor’s ouster.
The loss of political support doesn’t end in the Legislature, either. Several union organizations have issued statements in the past day that indicate it’s time for a change.
New York State United Teachers issued a statement Tuesday saying it found Cuomo’s response “equally troubling” as the attorney general’s report.
Another large labor organization joined with the teachers on Wednesday.
“The first job of any elected official is keeping safe the people they serve; it is clear from the appalling findings of the attorney general’s report, Gov. Cuomo failed to do that,” New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said in a statement. “We fought for and won the very worker protections that were violated; there must be accountability without exception. Gov. Cuomo can no longer lead the state.”