Seeking the Truth About Mr. Cuomo

Some state lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans alike, say the public deserves more closure on the scandals surrounding former Governor Andrew Cuomo than his resignation provided. Mr. Cuomo’s spokesperson says “the truth will come out.”

WWhile impeachment may be one way to fix this, it is not clear whether Mr. Cuomo can be impeached now that he is no longer governor. It could take a long struggle to resolve this issue.

We get the desire for a more conclusive resolution. After all, the state is expected to spend over $ 5.1 million just for the Assembly’s investigation by law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell into allegations of sexual harassment and assault, use abuse of government employees for personal gain and data manipulation. on deaths in retirement homes. This award is coincidentally – and rather boring – roughly equal to the deal Mr. Cuomo got for the memoirs he wrote and published with the help of executive chamber staff in what the Joint Commission State on Public Ethics Lessons said it was a violation of its promise not to use public employees for its private project. We argued that Mr. Cuomo should give all the money to the state, but we are not holding our breath.

Democrats no doubt feel burnt by the embarrassment Mr. Cuomo has caused their party. Republicans clearly see impeachment as a way to lessen scandals in the 2022 election for the legislature, governor and other statewide offices. And, politically motivated aside, lawmakers and New Yorkers have every right to be outraged by anything they read in the Assembly report, as well as in the attorney’s office earlier findings. General Letitia James and JCOPE, as well as voluminous newspaper articles.

On the other hand, Mr Cuomo maintains his innocence, saying the assembly report is largely based on an investigation by an attorney general whose own governorship ambitions make the findings suspect. Take that with a pound of salt from a former governor who manipulated JCOPE, shut down a Moreland commission on corruption, hid data on coronavirus deaths, and installed political operatives in state agencies over the years, among his many efforts to control political damage.

If the work of investigating the former governor does not appear to be finished, what to do?

The legislature should certainly seek clarification on the constitutional question of impeachment. But it has an undisputed power which does not oblige it to wait for the outcome of a potentially long legal battle: the power of a legislative body and its various commissions to investigate all the questions raised in the various reports that have been written to date. . He can, and should, hold public hearings to hear testimony from Mr. Cuomo and his accusers and, more importantly, all of his facilitators and subordinates who made his offer, willingly or not.

There are real questions to explore here. What safeguards are needed to prevent executive power from spiraling out of control and to prevent agencies like the health ministry from becoming so politicized? What ethical rules need to be strengthened to prevent public officials from being diverted to the private benefit of senior officials? What gaps might there be in training, laws and state regulations regarding sexual harassment? And what about issues that have yet to be investigated, such as the Cuomo administration’s handling of safety concerns regarding the Gov Bridge. Mario M. Cuomo?

While the Assembly and Attorney General’s reports do not provide closure, they point to a possible path. Let the truth come out, indeed.

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