A full investigation is to be carried out by the New York State Assembly, with subpoena power, as the beginning of an impeachment inquiry into sexual misconduct allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“The Democratic Conference is taking the first step toward impeachment by opening an investigation with full subpoena power to obtain facts and testimonies under oath,” Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim said in a statement obtained by Fox News Thursday.
“Some members, including myself, argued that we had enough admission to proceed with impeachment today, but the conference is leaning toward setting up the process and structure toward impeachment.”
On Thursday, the Albany police claimed they received a report from the governor’s office of the New York State Executive Chamber involving an incident with potential criminal activity. The allegation involved an unnamed female worker claiming the governor had groped her at his mansion last year.
The Albany Times Union has recently reported on the allegation that Cuomo groped a female aide last year, making it the sixth allegation of sexual misconduct against the Democratic governor since last month.
Cuomo released a statement last month denying he touched anyone inappropriately. However, he did admit his jokes in the workplace may have been misconstrued.
The majority of state legislators have called for his resignation, with 121 making the call. The count includes 65 Democrats and 56 Republicans, according to a tally by The Associated Press.
On Thursday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie signaled he was prepared to make a move on the issue. “In light of the allegations concerning the Governor over the last several weeks, I will be meeting with members in conference today on potential paths forward,” he said.
One of Cuomo’s accusers, former aide, Lindsay Boylan, spoke strongly of the lack of action by Heastie.
“I literally cannot comprehend how little courage @CarlHeastie must have to avoid doing the right thing,” tweeted Lindsay Boylan. “Survivors do not need a ridiculous political circus that is at best duplicative of an independent investigation already underway. We need accountability, not theatrics.”
The New York State Democratic Party Chair, Jay S. Jacobs, calls for an investigation but hasn’t called for Cuomo’s resignation.
“Faced with another serious and disturbing allegation, revealed last evening in an article in the Times Union, it has become even more imperative that all of these matters be thoroughly investigated,” he said in a statement.
“I recognize that within our Party, there have been differing views as to how we should proceed and as to what course of action the Governor should take,” he said. “I respect the personal decision made by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and a large number of Democratic lawmakers calling for the Governor’s resignation.”