On Friday, Brooklyn politicians joined a growing chorus calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign.
Rep. Yvette Clarke, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Brooklyn State Senator Zellnor Myrie and Assemblymember Diana Richardson said Friday Cuomo, who is facing multiple accusations of sexual harassment and increasing criticism over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic response, should no longer remain in office.
“The Governor, like anyone else, is entitled to due process under the law and we have full confidence in the Attorney General’s ongoing investigation. But he is not entitled to remain in the most powerful office in the State when, by his words and actions, he has irreparably damaged his trustworthiness and ability to lead, and while the rest of us twist in the wind awaiting new and more disturbing allegations,” Myrie and Richardson said in a joint statement.
The statement came after thirteen House Democrats from New York, , including Clarke and Velazquez, said Cuomo must resign, arguing allegations had impeded his ability to govern effectively and serve New Yorkers.
Cuomo has dismissed the calls to resign as political moves by his rivals and said he was being subjected to “cancel culture.” On Friday, he said in a news conference: “”I did not do what has been alleged, period. I won’t speculate about people’s possible motives.”
On Thursday, Democrats in the New York Assembly launched an impeachment investigation that will be carried out at the same time as the independent probe being undertaken by the Office of the State Attorney General.
Myrie and Richardson said in coming to their conclusion, they had considered the very serious, credible allegations of sexual harassment made against the Governor over the past two weeks, and the impact his actions had had on the women and their careers.
“We have also considered the threats made against other colleagues in government, and the withholding of critical information about nursing homes and a signature infrastructure project from the Legislature and the public. Any of these alone would call into question the ability to continue to govern; taken together, they paint a picture of patterned, abusive behavior unbecoming of the office.”
The statement said that while many constituents did not believe the governor should resign until the investigation was over, they believed the Constitution provided for governance to continue while the investigations were ongoing through the leadership of the Lieutenant Governor.
Rep. Clarke said in a statement she had revisited her previous stance in favor of a more expedited call to action.
“These allegations have reached a level that I believe impedes the Governor’s ability to serve the people of New York State to the best of his abilities,” she said.
“I remain confident that Attorney General Tish James has the resources, prowess, and ability to conduct a comprehensive and determinative report. However, I must join my colleagues in calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to step down.”