The New York state Assembly will halt its investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo once he resigns, after its leaders determined they did not have the authority to impeach him once he leaves office, the chamber’s top Democrat said Friday.
Cuomo announced his intention to resign over sexual harassment allegations on Tuesday, as it became clear that he would almost certainly be impeached by the Legislature. He stated that his resignation would be effective in 14 days, after which Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul would take over.
Some lawmakers urged the Assembly to proceed with an impeachment proceeding, possibly to prevent Cuomo from running for office again in the future if he attempted a political comeback.
But Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement that lawyers had advised the Legislature’s judiciary committee that doing so would be unconstitutional.
“Let me be clear — the committee’s work over the last several months, although not complete, did uncover credible evidence in relation to allegations that have been made in reference to the governor,” said Heastie, a New York City Democrat.
He stated that evidence related to sexual harassment claims, possible misuse of state resources in connection with the publication of the governor’s book on the pandemic, and “improper and misleading disclosure of nursing home data” were among them.
“This evidence — we believe — could likely have resulted in articles of impeachment had he not resigned,” Heastie said.