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N.Y. Assembly speaker reverses move to drop Cuomo impeachment probe

By Don Jacobson
N.Y. Assembly speaker reverses move to drop Cuomo impeachment probe
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Pier 76 open space in New York City on June 9. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 16 (UPI) -- New York's State Assembly speaker on Monday reversed last week's decision to drop an impeachment probe against Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the wake of the governor's pending resignation.

Carl Heastie announced Friday that lawmakers were dropping the investigation as Cuomo prepares to resign this month amid sexual harassment allegations.

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But following an outcry from both Democrats and Republicans, the speaker on Monday reversed that decision, announcing the Assembly's judiciary committee will indeed continue its probe and that a final report of their findings will be made available when concluded.

Cuomo last week announced he would resign on Aug. 23 after a report by New York's attorney general found he had sexually harassed 11 women, breaking numerous state and federal laws.

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The judiciary committee opened an impeachment probe of Cuomo in March to look into the harassment accusations as well as allegations that he used state resources in writing a COVID-19 pandemic memoir that earned him a $5.1 million book contract.

The panel also was looking into reports that Cuomo's family members and others received preferential treatment for then-scarce COVID-19 testing and that his administration undercounted nursing home deaths due to the virus.

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Heastie's move to drop the probe, however, brought intense bipartisan criticism.

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"The decision to suspend the impeachment investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo completely undermines the mission of the judiciary committee, essentially nullifies the countless hours of effort that have gone into the process and runs totally contrary to the goals of transparency and accountability our constituents deserve," Republican committee members wrote.

"I am heartbroken, I am sickened and I am disgusted," Democratic Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou said in an issued statement. "The decision to end the impeachment investigation of into Governor Cuomo is indefensible."

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