East End’s State Reps Call for Action on Cuomo Report

All three of the East End’s state legislators are calling for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign or be impeached in response to a damning report about his conduct toward women released Tuesday by State Attorney General Letitia James.

South Fork State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, a member of the Independence Party who caucuses with state Democrats, is calling for the State Assembly to begin impeachment proceedings, while North Fork State Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio and East End State Senator Anthony Palumbo, both Republicans are calling on the governor to resign.

East End Congressman Lee Zeldin, who is the presumptive Republican nominee to run for New York Governor next year regardless of what happens to Mr. Cuomo, who is a Democrat, also called for the governor’s resignation or impeachment in a statement Tuesday.

According to the report issued by the Attorney General’s office Tuesday, “after nearly five months, the investigators concluded that Governor Cuomo did sexually harass multiple women — including former and current state employees — by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments.”

The report added that “the governor and his senior staff took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee for coming forward with her story. Finally, the Executive Chamber fostered a “toxic” workplace that enabled “harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.” The investigators find that Governor Cuomo’s actions and those of the Executive Chamber violated multiple state and federal laws, as well as the Executive Chamber’s own written policies.”

“I have reviewed the report issued by the Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James and concur with its findings. An investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment by Governor Andrew Cuomo was conducted by independent investigators and afforded all parties appropriate due process,” said Mr. Thiele. “The findings of the report are clear. The harrowing details depicted in the report confirm that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees and created a hostile work environment. In his response to the report, the Governor has made evident that he has no intentions of resigning. Therefore, the Assembly must move with all deliberate speed to begin impeachment proceedings.”

“This evidence is particularly damning,” said Ms. Giglio. “No one should suffer the systemic and frankly disgusting sexual harassment that the governor engaged in. This was a nonpartisan and independent investigation. I am calling once again on Gov. Cuomo to step down. He cannot serve the people of New York any longer. He should be ashamed of himself and, finally, do what is right. If not, he should be impeached immediately while he faces prosecution and ongoing criminal investigation by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.” 

“On March 11 of this year I called on Governor Cuomo to resign after numerous sexual harassment and assault accusations were made against him,” said Mr. Palumbo. “Today, after the findings of the Attorney General’s Report, I renew my call for him to resign immediately. If the Governor, driven by his arrogance and hubris refuses to resign, then the Assembly Democratic Conference must take immediate action and begin Impeachment proceedings. The Attorney General’s report makes it clear that he is no longer fit to serve the people of New York as its top Executive. I commend the brave women who showed the courage to expose the pervasive culture of abuse and harassment in the top echelons of our State Government.  The State of New York and women around the world are indebted to their bravery.”

“Andrew Cuomo must resign or be impeached,” said Mr. Zeldin. “Cuomo institutionalized widespread abuse within his administration and tried to silence his many victims, which enabled him to continue openly preying on those around him. Over the last few months, Cuomo has continued his attempts to undermine the investigations into his wrongdoing and those carrying them out, and I have no doubt he will continue to do so following the release of the report.”

“It’s up to all of us to hold him accountable,” he added. “Governor Cuomo must resign, and if he doesn’t resign, Democrats running the State Legislature in Albany must impeach him. If they don’t impeach him, we must hold Governor Cuomo and every single person who has enabled him accountable at the ballot box on Election Day 2022.”

On Thursday, Aug. 5, Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone weighed in, agreeing that the governor should resign.

“I have reviewed the Attorney General’s report in its entirety as well as the response from Governor Cuomo. The experiences of the courageous women in this report are specific, corroborated and credible,” he said in a statement. “The conduct described is deeply disturbing. Sexual harassment in the workplace is intolerable and we must redouble our efforts in this state to end it once and for all. This requires new leadership. It is time for the governor to resign.”

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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