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Heastie: Cuomo Impeachment Probe To End Aug. 25

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie visits Bombardier in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC
New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie visits Bombardier in Plattsburgh

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says the impeachment probe into outgoing Governor Andrew Cuomo will end August 25 — one day after the Democrat resigns.

In a statement Friday, the Bronx Democrat says he made the decision after consulting with Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Lavine and his majority colleagues. Heastie says the suspension is because Cuomo will resign, and the committee determined it would be unconstitutional to impeach and remove an elected official no longer in office.

Heastie says the committee’s investigation “did uncover credible evidence” against Cuomo, including sexual harassment, the misuse of state resources in the production of the governor’s pandemic memoir, and the misleading disclosure of nursing home COVID-19 data. Heastie says the evidence likely could have resulted in impeachment articles.

He says evidence is being turned over to other investigators looking into Cuomo and his administration. Lieutenant Governor Hochul takes office August 24.

Republicans and good government advocates were quick to blast the move.

In a statement, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said: "Moving forward with the impeachment would have brought a necessary conclusion to an important endeavor and ensured Andrew Cuomo would never be permitted to hold statewide office. Instead, mountains of evidence and months of work will now be hidden from the public by this disappointing, tone-deaf decision."

“The decision to drop the impeachment investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a massive disservice to the goals of transparency and accountability," he added.

The top Republican in the Senate, Rob Ortt, added, "The decision from Assembly Democrats to suspend the impeachment investigation reeks of a shady deal to protect Andrew Cuomo...Resignation is not accountability."

The Republican members of the Judiciary Committee are calling on the impeachment inquiry's findings to be made public.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.