The New York state Legislature announced Tuesday it has reached a deal to repeal Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers in the midst of twin scandals involving how he allegedly handled New York’s CCP virus response and allegations of sexual harassment.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, both Democrats, made the announcement but did not specify when a vote will be held.
“I think everyone understands where we were back in March and where we are now,” Stewart-Cousins said. “We certainly see the need for a quick response but also want to move toward a system of increased oversight.”
She added, “The public deserves to have checks and balances. Our proposal would create a system with increased input while at the same time ensuring New Yorkers continue to be protected.”
The deal was reached to temporarily suspend Cuomo’s emergency powers that were granted to him during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, published a report in January that found that New York under-counted nursing home deaths in the state by as much as 50 percent, while the New York Post later reported that one of his aides, Melissa DeRosa, admitted to lawmakers in a private setting that the administration hid nursing home data last summer due to a federal probe.
Then, Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Democrat, accused Cuomo of threatening him in a phone call after the NY Post’s report.
But now, Cuomo—who received glowing coverage in 2020 from mainstream news outlets including CNN, where his brother Chris Cuomo works as an anchor, over his COVID-19 response—is facing allegations from three different women who stated that he allegedly harassed them.
Lindsey Boylan, the former deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to Cuomo, and Charlotte Bennett, another former aide to the governor, have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. And earlier this week, Anna Ruch told the New York Times that Cuomo made untoward advances toward her in 2019.
Democrats in New York and around the United States have not rushed to his side to defend him, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) describing the allegations as credible. It’s left the governor isolated from his usual allies.
A growing number of New York Democrats have called on the governor to resign or even be impeached.
In response to the claims, the governor denied he sexually harassed the women but noted that his “interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended.”
“I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that,” he continued.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Cuomo’s office for comment.