Where local democratic lawmakers stand with Cuomo scandal

Posted at 5:49 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 08:41:51-05

Governor Andrew Cuomo forged ahead on Monday, appearing at a mass COVID-19 vaccination site in New York City.

That’s despite the new accusations of sexual harassment and bullying that surfaced over the weekend and the growing number of calls for his resignation.

Fellow democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and South Buffalo Assemblyman Pat Burke are among those calling for Cuomo to step down.

“It is this scandal, but there is scandal fatigue and we just have to be able to do our jobs,” Burke told Reporter Ali Touhey when reached by phone on Monday.

Burke is the first, and so far only western New York democratic law maker to call for Cuomo’s resignation.

“The pattern is there. He’s acknowledged that pattern, and so I think it’s time for him to step aside,” Burke said.

Fellow Assembly democrats Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Monica Wallace, William Conrad and Karen McMahon aren’t calling for Cuomo’s resignation.

“I believe we should wait until all the evidence is in before we determine guilt, and if appropriate, penalty,” McMahon said in a statement.

“The Assembly spent nine hours on Friday discussing one bill, regarding the Governor's authority and his ability to carry on the people's work. If these serious revelations continue to hinder that work, I would hope the Governor would weigh the impact on New York and its citizens.” Conrad said in a statement.

Buffalo Assemblyman John Rivera didn’t respond to our inquiries.

Senator Tim Kennedy’s office referred us to his March 2 statement. “ Attorney General James has proven time & again to be extremely thorough in her investigations and I have every confidence in her ability to independently & expeditiously examine these very serious & troubling accusations,” Kennedy said in a tweet.

Senator Sean Ryan said in a statement “As I have said previously, the multiple allegations of sexual harassment made against the Governor are disturbing and warrant a truly independent investigation, and New Yorkers deserve to know exactly what happened as it relates to nursing home fatalities during the pandemic. The Senate Investigations Committee will soon begin hearing sworn testimony regarding nursing homes, and Attorney General Letitia James has begun the process to investigate the allegations made against the Governor. Stepping in front of the Attorney General’s investigation and the work of the Senate Investigations Committee will only prevent all the facts from coming forward. We must let the Attorney General and the Senate Investigations Committee get to work, and I am going to get to work to deliver a good budget for the people of Western New York. We need to get vaccinations in arms, provide funding for our schools to get teachers and students back in the classroom, and continue to rebuild our economy as we push forward to end the pandemic.”

Many Assembly republicans say the legislature should move to impeach Cuomo. They’re introducing a resolution to start the process. "We won’t be able to force a vote but we’re going to keep pounding this issue and the political pressure gets greater and greater,” said Minority Leader Will Barclay of Pulaski.

Republican Assemblyman Angelo Morinello, of Niagara Falls isn’t among those calling for Cuomo’s resignation or to impeach him.

“I am not going to influence anybody. I will let people make their own decisions,” he said.

However, Morinello believes Cuomo’s accusers and thinks the governor should seek rehabilitation. “If I say let’s impeach him, we don’t cure the power and control issue that will go on indefinitely.”

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul has repeatedly denied our request for an interview regarding the situation.