ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – The New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee released a report Monday morning into its investigation into allegations of misconduct by former Governor Andrew Cuomo. Committee chairman Charles Lavine describes Cuomo’s conduct described in the findings as “disturbing.”
In March 2021, President Carl Heastie tasked the committee with determining whether there was any evidence to support a conclusion that Cuomo engaged in serious and corrupt behavior during his tenure. They were trying to determine whether such acts could justify filing articles of impeachment.
The scope of the investigation included examining allegations of sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct, the publication of Cuomo’s October 2020 book, information provided by the former governor and his administration on COVID in homes. nursing care and the potential safety concerns surrounding the construction of bridges in New York State.
The report also concluded that as of March 19, 2020, an employee of Penguin Random House
contacted a literary agent representing Cuomo to see if he was interested in writing a book. As of July 1, 2020, Cuomo had already written 70,000 words, according to the literary agent.
“A senior state official explained that book-related tasks were assigned by superiors and had to be completed, and that the work was not voluntary,” the report said. A Cuomo spokesperson recently claimed was voluntary work and commonplace in the legislature.
The Assembly report also notes that although they have publicly pledged to cooperate on several occasions, Cuomo and his attorneys have not significantly cooperated with the committee’s investigation, including with respect to the book. or health care claims.
“I think in reality what happened was that after the governor’s resignation all cooperation ended,” Mary Beth Walsh, member of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, told reporters. after reading the report, “and I think the interviews that had been scheduled via the subpoenas issued somehow just ended.
Walsh also said she wanted the investigation to go further on the nursing home issue. He revealed that the former governor ordered his staff to withhold or inappropriately distort data on the effects of COVID-19 in nursing homes. Walsh said she understands the Assembly’s investigation findings will be passed on to any organization or entity seeking to investigate the matter further.
Committee members had the opportunity to read the report before it was released to the public.
“It was a deeply sad chapter in New York history. I congratulate President Charles Lavine, the members of the Judiciary Committee and the Davis Polk team for their hard work and diligence in carrying out this investigation, ”said President Heastie.
Senatorial Minority Leader Rob Ortt released a declaration after the report was released, calling the investigation “one of the least transparent political processes in New York’s history,” calling for passage of a Senate bill that would expand the power of impeachment and the impeachment process against former office holders for acts committed while they were in office.
Republican members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee released a statement saying law enforcement should use the report’s findings to take any further action that may be necessary:
The report says that because Cuomo chose to resign and not to challenge the evidence or confront the witnesses, he is not allowed to produce further evidence from the committee.
Rich Azzopardi, spokesman for former Governor Cuomo, released a declaration claiming that the Assembly report is “hypocritical” and “revisionist”. He refuted many of the main findings of the report.
“Any report that uses the politically biased attorney general’s investigation as a basis will also be flawed. To date, we have not had the opportunity to examine the evidence in the possession of the Assembly, despite requests to do so and due process has certainly not been ensured here, ”wrote Azzopardi.
Stay with NEWS10 to learn more about this story as it develops, and read the full report below:
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