Cuomo defiant despite inquiries, resignation calls

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has reiterated that he is not going to resign despite mounting pressure for him to do so and start of an impeachment inquiry from the lower house of the state legislature.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Cuomo said he would like to “let the review proceed. I’m not going to resign”, reports Xinhua news agency.

Cuomo denied sexual harassment allegations against him by multiple former female aides.

More than 10 House Democrats from New York on Friday urged Cuomo to resign, saying he has lost the confidence of the people of New York.

Scores of New York State legislators also joined the chorus and issued a joint letter on Thursday calling for Cuomo’s resignation.

New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie on Thursday said the judiciary committee under the assembly has been authorised to initiate an impeachment investigation into Cuomo.

The investigation team is tasked to examine allegations of misconduct against Cuomo, who has held the position of New York governor since January 2011.

The investigation will focus on the alleged cover-up of nursing home deaths from Covid-19 in the state and allegations by several women of sexual harassment and improper conduct, said a report by citing Bill Conrad, a member of the state Assembly.

“The committee will have the authority to interview witnesses, subpoena documents and evaluate evidence, as is allowed by the New York State Constitution,” Heastie said in a statement.

He said the impeachment investigation will interfere with the independent investigation being conducted by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who is charging an independent investigation into sexual harassment allegation against Cuomo.

James said on Thursday that “today’s action by the New York state legislature will have no bearing on our independent investigation into these allegations against Governor Cuomo. Our investigation will continue”.

Winning his third term in November 2018, Cuomo has not made public statement on the latest development and he recently said “there is no way” for him to step down over sexual harassment allegations.