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This time last year Andrew Cuomo was letting people know about his Thanksgiving plans. As most of New York was in lockdown, he was going to have dinner with his mother Matilda and two of his daughters at the Governor’s Mansion in Albany.
“My mom is going to come up and two of my girls,” the governor said on a local radio program.
Word quickly spread about the Cuomo family Thanksgiving while the rest of New York was told to stay home.
His spokesperson had to backtrack saying the “Luv Guv” was suddenly going to work through the holiday and would not be seeing anyone.
“But don’t tell his mom! She doesn’t know yet!” he said jokingly.
None of us found it funny.
At that time, Cuomo was riding high on his Emmy award for his fawned over covid briefings, and then the release of his self-congratulatory New York Times bestselling book.
For thousands of us, our Thanksgiving tables would be forever empty without our mothers, fathers or grandparents to celebrate.
And now, a year later, Andrew Cuomo can spend all the time he wants with his family. He resigned in disgrace back in August after a scathing report was released documenting his behavior as a serial sexual harasser.
The New York State Assembly started putting together a case for impeachment after his Attorney General Tish James released the results of her investigation.
Suddenly, Mr. New York Tough couldn’t take the heat anymore, and stepped down.
But once Cuomo cleaned out his mansion, lawmakers decided to drop their impeachment plans. After being pressured to release all the information from the report they conveniently forgot about, Speaker Carl Heastie said they would issue the findings in October.
After weeks of stonewalling, some lawmakers were able to look at the report on Thursday.
Assemblyman Michael Montesaro, the ranking Republican on the Assembly Judiciary Committee said it was very telling:
“[Cuomo] engaged in multiple instances of sexual harassment, created a hostile work environment and committed sexual misconduct.”
The report also found that the ex-governor “utilized state resources and property, including work by executive chamber staff to write, publish and promote his book for a $5.2 million personal profit.”
There was also evidence supporting many of his staff having to work on his memoir using state resources, a violation of the Public Officers Law.
And on Tuesday of this week, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics reversed their decision to approve the outrageous book deal claiming “he broke ethics rules not to use staffers or other government resources in its preparation.”
Meanwhile, for the thousands of families that have wanted answers and accountability for the preventable deaths inside nursing homes, the impeachment report states that the man that signed the executive order to help spread the virus into their residences was “was not fully transparent with nursing home residents that died.”
And so with all of this evidence, why did the New York State assembly not go ahead with the impeachment of this disgraceful man?
A resignation is simply not enough.
My good friend and fellow nursing home advocate Assemblyman Ron Kim says our lawmakers have a public and constitutional duty to still go ahead with the impeachment of Andrew Cuomo.
Because “impeachment is not just about the physical removal of the ex-governor, it’s about proving his criminal misconduct and prevent him from seeking public office again.”
It also should be up to his replacement Kathy Hochul to make good on her word to be transparent and co-operative with any and all information when it comes to what happened to our loved ones so that this never happens to another family.
It’s never been more clear to us.
Especially as we head into the holidays in which we remember how much we miss them the most.