New York governor facing the risk of impeachment proceedings

Udo impeachment proceedings against the governor of New York accused of touching an employee? The risk is now real for Andrew Cuomo, after one of the Democratic bosses of the Parliament of this state, until recently his ally, gave the green light Thursday to the first stage of the procedure.

The difficulties of the powerful governor, seen by many as a hero in the face of the pandemic last year, have worsened considerably since Wednesday evening: a New York newspaper, the Times Union of the capital Albany, has indeed revealed that a of his employees accused him of having put his hand under his blouse and of having touched it “aggressively” at the end of 2020, in his official residence.

Since the end of February, the 63-year-old governor, whose third term expires at the end of 2022, was already increasingly weakened by the successive allegations of five women, accusing him of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.

But the accusations that appeared on Wednesday are more serious and could have criminal consequences: the governor’s office had to “notify the local police”, a spokesperson confirmed to AFP.

While such a notification does not automatically lead to a criminal investigation, the new allegations have prompted 59 Democrats elected to the Parliament of New York – which has 213 elected in total, mostly Democrats like the governor – to join the dozens of Republicans who were already demanding. publicly Mr. Cuomo’s resignation.

After receiving them, the leader of the Democrats of the lower house, Carl Heastie, said Thursday that he had “authorized the judicial commission of the chamber to open an impeachment inquiry”, the first step towards a possible impeachment of the governor.

“The allegations reported against the governor are serious,” Heastie said in a statement. “The commission will be able to question witnesses, demand documents and assess evidence.”

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This investigation will run alongside the previously announced judicial inquiry into the allegations by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The governor did not immediately react to this announcement.

If he recently apologized for having “hurt” his accusers, he also said he “never touched anyone inappropriately”. And ruled out any resignation so far.

Impeachment by the Parliament of New York requires a simple majority in the lower house and two-thirds in the upper house. The last procedure dates back to 1913.

12/03/2021 07:25:40 – New York (AFP) – © 2021 AFP

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