Common Cause/NY Statement Regarding Holding Andrew Cuomo Accountable

Earlier this week, Andrew Cuomo announced his intent to resign in two weeks after an investigation by the State Attorney General James brought his rampant sexual misconduct to light. Given the severity of the findings, Common Cause NY urges the Assembly to proceed with impeachment regardless of Andrew Cuomo’s intention to step down and calls on Andrew Cuomo to resign immediately, not in two weeks.

New Yorkers deserve politicians and institutions that uphold justice, not betray the public trust.

Therefore, Common Cause NY strongly urges the Assembly Judiciary Committee to move forward with transparent, public impeachment proceedings. The people of New York deserve to know the full extent to which Andrew Cuomo’s flawed decision-making has hurt them and if Cuomo’s abuse of power goes beyond what has already been publicized. In that regard, there is no substitute for public evidentiary hearings to effectively inform the public. Additionally, if, as alleged, Governor Cuomo misused his office and state assets, a clear understanding of that misconduct is essential for the Legislature to fulfill its constitutional role and pass effective measures to not only deter but prevent similar misdeeds in the future.

Furthermore, Common Cause NY calls on Andrew Cuomo to resign immediately. Former U.S. Attorney General for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara recently publicly shared his concerns about the motivation Cuomo may have for taking this long to step down, and he’s far from alone. Former Governor David Paterson, the most recent Lieutenant Governor to find himself precipitously elevated to the office of governor by the resignation of his predecessor, calls the 14-day extension of Governor Cuomo’s time in office “suspicious,” and stated that such a long time is unnecessary. Allowing Cuomo to remain in office for an extra two weeks may open the door for additional misconduct. Past disgraced politicians took significantly less time to resign – Eliot Spitzer vacated his office within five days and Vito Lopez left within 72 hours.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul sees no need for a 14-day delay in Governor Cuomo’s resignation, announcing that she is ready to step in and lead our state forward. New York deserves a governor who has the credibility and trust of the public to effectively do their job, a role Andrew Cuomo can no longer fulfill. With so many issues facing our state, we deserve a governor who has the support of the Legislature and the public, setting the future policy of the state that they will lead.