In Highlands, elected officials months ago said he should leave
President Joe Biden added his voice on Tuesday (Aug. 3) to the chorus calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, to resign following the release of state attorney general’s report that concluded he broke state and federal laws against workplace sexual harassment.
Three of the four state and federal elected officials in the Highlands were early members of the choir. Jonathan Jacobson, a Democrat whose Assembly district includes Beacon; U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat whose district includes the Highlands; and Sue Serino, a Republican whose state Senate district includes the Highlands, each called on Cuomo to step down months ago, when the allegations first became public.
Sandy Galef, a Democrat whose Assembly district includes Philipstown, at the time was among a group of Democratic women in the Assembly who called for an independent investigation but did not endorse an immediate departure. On Tuesday, with the investigation complete, she said it was time for Cuomo to step aside. “With the time he will spend on defending himself, we will not have a governor concentrating on other issues such as the pandemic impacting the health of New Yorkers,” she said.
On Tuesday, Serino said in a statement that “now that an independent investigation has corroborated and substantiated the allegations made against the governor, there can be no question remaining that he is unfit to serve.”
She said if Cuomo does not resign, the Assembly should impeach him. “It is not enough for lawmakers to claim they support his resignation without now taking affirmative steps to hold him accountable for these despicable actions,” she said. “The only way to fully put an end to this culture of harassment and corruption is to rid the Capitol of the governor that allowed it to flourish.”
In a statement on Wednesday, Jacobson said that, “together with the evidence of the nursing home cover-up, the time has come for [Cuomo] to face the consequences of his behavior and step down. He no longer has the credibility to lead or to govern effectively.” He said he would vote “yes” to impeach.
In Dutchess County, the comptroller, Robin Lois, a Democrat, said on Tuesday that while she had “strived to stay out of ‘politics’ and remain non-partisan in order to preserve and protect the independence of my office,” she also felt the time had come.
On Friday, the chairs of the Democratic committees in 42 New York counties, including Scott Reing of Putnam and Elisa Sumner of Dutchess, called in a joint statement for Cuomo to step down.
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