Andrew Cuomo would have been impeached over harassment claims, guide, COVID coverup: pol – New York Put up

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ALBANY — An elected official who has seen the Meeting Judiciary Committee’s impeachment investigation of ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the findings — which embody new particulars about sexual harassment allegations, his $5.1 million pandemic guide deal and coverup of nursing residence deaths — would have been grounds to question. 
Assemblyman Phil Steck (D-Colonie) reviewed a duplicate of the panel’s 45-page report Friday morning and advised The Put up the findings present a sample of “profoundly disturbing” conduct by Cuomo. 
“The primary factor is, [what’s] profoundly disturbing is the governor’s conduct. It strongly corroborates and enhances the findings of the lawyer basic’s report that the governor was sexually harassing girls in his workplace,” Steck mentioned, referring to the bombshell Aug. 3 sexual harassment report launched by Legal professional Normal Letitia James that discovered Cuomo sexually harassed 11 girls and allegedly broke a number of state and federal legal guidelines. 
Cuomo introduced his resignation per week after the report was made public.
Steck mentioned the stunning findings additionally embody essentially the most info up to now printed in a written evaluation on Cuomo’s $5.1 million pandemic memoirAmerican Disaster: Management Classes from the COVID-19 Pandemic” in addition to how the ex-gov and his high aides labored to hide the true variety of nursing residence deaths since March 2020. 
Steck mentioned “sure” the report would have laid the groundwork for the state Meeting to proceed with drawing up articles of impeachment if Cuomo hadn’t resigned. 
When requested why the Meeting can’t — or gained’t — transfer ahead with impeachment proceedings now he mentioned the hassle would have been too pricey.
The Meeting has already amended its contract with the white shoe regulation agency dealing with the probe — Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP — to spend a excessive of $5.1 million.
The probe was first introduced in early March of final yr by Meeting Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx).
“It will have most likely resulted in a large authorized battle that’s extraordinarily pricey. It’s not a wise expenditure for taxpayers and it won’t be upheld by the courtroom of appeals. However we felt we had spent all this cash and all this time on growing the information and so the report is the product of that request.
“On the guide deal, this supplies essentially the most info in a report that we’ve seen up to now. It begins with how the deal took place. The governor used the manager chamber workers as a automobile for writing the guide for his private achieve,” Steck mentioned. 
“He was utilizing his workers to advertise the guide and coordinating that with the writer. The governor took the place that ‘the foundations that apply to everybody else don’t apply to me.’
“Third, on the nursing properties, the report established that the governor made a cloth misrepresentation in regards to the nursing residence deaths,” he continued. 
“The Division of Well being was ready to report quite a lot of nursing residence deaths — together with individuals who each died within the nursing properties and people who have been contaminated and brought to the hospital for remedy the place they later died — and the governor’s workplace made positive solely the variety of those that truly bodily died in a nursing residence have been included,” he added. 
Cuomo faces separate probes by the FBI/US Jap District of New York relating to the guide deal and state Legal professional Normal Letitia James is conducting her personal felony inquiry into the nursing residence knowledge.
“The Meeting Judiciary Committee has chosen to not evaluate their findings with us, which is their prerogative, however it could as soon as once more end in a one-sided report,” mentioned Cuomo spokesman Wealthy Azzopardi in an announcement. 
“Nonetheless, we should all dwell inside the similar commonplace. State staff volunteered to help the governor together with his guide American Disaster and now the Meeting apparently needs to criticize them,” he mentioned.
“In the event that they wish to set a brand new commonplace that can also be their prerogative — however the present commonplace is {that a} state worker can volunteer in a private or political effort so long as they take day off in order that there is no such thing as a value to the state.”
Nonetheless, at the least one staffer mentioned they felt pressured to assist work on the guide arguing it “interfered” with the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response, state Assemblyman and rating Republican committee member Mike Montesano (R-Hicksville) advised The Put up.
Committee Chairman Charles Lavine (D-Nassau) mentioned the report can be launched to the general public “quickly” however didn’t give a selected date, based on sources. 
The sources mentioned a number of lawmakers from the 21-member committee nonetheless need to evaluate the evaluation and are anticipated to take action over the weekend.
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