NY Democrats Call For Cuomo's Resignation Update (1755ET): New York Democrats are calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign following two sexual misconduct allegations which followed a bombshell COVID-19 nursing home scandal, according to The Hill. A growing number of legislators and journalists, meanwhile, have come forward to accuse Cuomo of various bullying tactics. "There’s ...
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Update (1755ET): New York Democrats are calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign following two sexual misconduct allegations which followed a bombshell COVID-19 nursing home scandal, according to The Hill. A growing number of legislators and journalists, meanwhile, have come forward to accuse Cuomo of various bullying tactics.
"There’s an ongoing pattern here of abuse of power. It’s making the working relationship with the governor a real distraction from the work we have to do for the people," said state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D). "I firmly believe that the governor’s resignation is for the good of the state at this point."
Most legislators say Cuomo is almost certain to draw a strong primary challenger in 2022, if he decides to seek reelection to an unprecedented fourth term in office. But most also said they did not believe Cuomo would run for another term — and that if more allegations of improper behavior emerged, even finishing his current term may be a stretch.
“The governor has had his time. Three terms is long enough,” said Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (D), who represents Westchester County. “I believe that the governor should not be seeking a fourth term, and if any more complaints arise, he may not be able to finish this term.” -The Hill
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that the allegations against Cuomo are "Just disgusting, creepy," adding later in the day "If someone purposefully tried to use their power to force a woman to have sex with them, of course that’s someone who should no longer be in public service."
Accuser Charlotte Bennett said in a Monday statement that Cuomo has yet to take responsibility for his actions.
"It took the governor 24 hours and significant backlash to allow for a truly independent investigation. These are not the actions of someone who simply feels misunderstood; they are the actions of an individual who wields his power to avoid justice," said Bennett.
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Update (1525ET): The WSJ was incorrect in claiming Abramowitz was representing Cuomo's office for his sexual harassment scandal, telling Bloomberg that he's only representing the nursing home scandal.
"My firm and I are representing the Executive Chamber on the Nursing Home matter. We have not been retained on the sexual harassment matter," he said in an email.
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration has retained a prominent white-collar defense attorney following allegations of sexual harassment and Justice Department inquiries over COVID-19 nursing home deaths, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Attorney Elkan Abramowitz - a former federal prosecutor - confirmed with the Journal that he is now representing Cuomo's 'executive chamber', which includes the governor and his closes aides. Abramowitz is dealing with both scandals as New York Attorney General Letitia James joins the DOJ in investigating the embattled New York bigwig.
The Democratic governor faces an investigation overseen by State Attorney General Letitia James into whether he sexually harassed women who previously worked in his administration. Mr. Cuomo acknowledged he had sometimes been overly personal while interacting with staff and said he was sorry if anyone mistook it for unwanted flirtation.
Cuomo’s apology strategy is going well…. pic.twitter.com/lJ8OY3ORee— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) March 1, 2021
Two women have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment ranging from inappropriate questions, to touching, to forcibly kissing. One accuser says Cuomo clearly wanted to sleep with her.
Over the weekend, Cuomo denied forcibly kissing former aide Lindsey Boylan, who said the governor would also go out of his way to touch her "on my lower back, arms and legs." He did, however, seemingly admit to using inappropriate language.
Cuomo also said last week that the state is cooperating with three inquiries from the US Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of New York located in Brooklyn, as well as the DOJ's Civil Rights and Civil divisions based in Washington. Brooklyn prosecutors have requested data on the number of people who died in New York nursing homes during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the governor has stepped out of the public spotlight - last making a televised pandemic briefing on Feb. 19, while his public schedule remains empty according to Bloomberg.
Cuomo’s uncharacteristic silence comes a day after he agreed to an independent probe by a special investigator after a second former aide accused him of sexual harassment. Cuomo stopped short of having New York Attorney General Letitia James lead the probe, a move championed by dozens of other lawmakers.
On Monday, state Senator Todd Kaminsky introduced a bill that would allow the attorney general to conduct a criminal investigation without a referral from the governor, a move he said would strengthen independent oversight of the governor and other state officials.
"Clearly where the governor is involved there is a conflict," said Kaminsky.
Veteran Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf told Bloomberg: "The problem is he’s being squeezed on the left and the right, and if there are more accusations of sexual harassment or governmental incompetence or corruption, he’s going to have a very difficult time surviving," adding "He has very few friends."