Legislation Will Strip Cuomo of Pandemic Emergency Powers Due to Nursing Home Deaths, Harassment Allegations
NY AG announced she has “the authority to move forward with an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment claims” against Cuomo.
New York legislators agreed on a bill that would strip Gov. Andrew Cuomo of the pandemic emergency powers he received last March.
Cuomo has come under fire after a report revealed his COVID-19 nursing home order led to thousands of deaths and three sexual harassment allegations.
From The New York Post:
The agreement on a bill stripping Cuomo of the powers was forged between state Sen. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx). Once passed by both houses of the Legislature it would immediately repeal the powers granted to Cuomo last March to largely control state response to the coronavirus, presently set to sunset on April 30.
That vote could come as soon as Friday.
The legislation would also bar Cuomo from creating new emergency directives without a sign off from legislative leaders and relevant committee chairs and would only allow the extension of existing directives if they are directly tied to managing the pandemic.
The deal would allow some of the existing directives to continue, such as the statewide mask order.
Beyond that period, Cuomo would also need to get permission to extend or modify actions from lawmakers and give them an opportunity to comment.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) has been a Cuomo ally. However, he joined New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrew Stewart-Cousins to announce the bill:
“I think everyone understands where we were back in March and where we are now. We certainly see the need for a quick response but also want to move toward a system of increased oversight, and review. The public deserves to have checks and balances. Our proposal would create a system with increased input while at the same time ensuring New Yorkers continue to be protected,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement.
Added Heastie, “A year into the pandemic, and as New Yorkers receive the vaccine, the temporary emergency powers have served their purpose – it is time for them to be repealed.
“These temporary emergency powers were granted as New York was devastated by a virus we knew nothing about. Now it is time for our government to return to regular order.”
Where do I begin? Let’s see…
- NY AG Report: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Policies Might Have Killed More Grandmas Than Originally Thought
- Cuomo Aide Admits They Hid Nursing Home Death Data From Feds, Says Bombshell Report
- ‘You Will be Destroyed’: Cuomo Trashes NY Lawmaker in Private and Public Over COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths
- Former Cuomo Aide Accuses Him of Sexual Harassment, Alleges His Female Staffers Normalized His Behavior
- Second Andrew Cuomo Accuser Alleges Sexual Harassment: Have You Ever “Been With An Older Man?”
- ‘Can I Kiss You?’: Third Woman Accuses Cuomo of Sexual Harassment
Assemblyman Ron Kim, the man Cuomo trashed in the article in the third bullet point, wants to impeach Cuomo. He admits this is “the right first step in removing [Cuomo’s] ability to issue unilateral mandates.”
But Kim thinks the legislature “must do more to hold the governor accountable for his abuse of power and predatory behaviors toward women, staff, and journalists.”
On Sunday, New York Attorney General Letitia James tweeted:
Given state law, this can only be accomplished through an official referral from the governor’s office and must include subpoena power.
I urge the governor to make this referral immediately.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 28, 2021
James received the referral on Monday:
James said she proceeded with the investigation after she received the referral she needed from the governor’s office.
James said in a statement that the referral gives her office “the authority to move forward with an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment claims made against Governor Cuomo. This is not a responsibility we take lightly as allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously.”
James, a Democrat, said Sunday that she plans to “hire a law firm, deputize them as attorneys of our office and oversee a rigorous and independent investigation” of the allegations against Cuomo, a Democrat in his third term. Hiring and deputizing an independent counsel, who would have subpoena power, is expected to take a few days, her office said.
James said the findings would be disclosed in a public report.
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