New York (AP) – After an official investigation finds Andrew Cuomo guilty of sexually harassing several women, preparations for impeachment proceedings against New York’s governor are gaining momentum.
“I think this will be settled in weeks, not months,” New York House spokesman Carl Heastie said Monday after a meeting of a judicial committee. Heastie dismissed reports of Cuomo’s alleged attempts to avoid impeachment proceedings with a special deal. “I don’t negotiate agreements.”
Earlier, the governor had yet to accept a setback in the fight for his political survival: One of his closest confidants, adviser Melissa DeRosa, had announced in a written statement that she would be leaving her office. With the departure of the 38-year-old, the Democratic politician loses a loyal colleague and important strategist.
In the course of the affair, Roberta Kaplan resigned as chairman of the organization Time’s Up, which was founded as part of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment. The law firm had represented Cuomo adviser DeRosa and is said to have helped the governor defend his allegations of harassment.
A week ago, an investigative report by Attorney General Letitia James concluded that the 63-year-old governor had sexually assaulted former and current state officials. According to information from the New York Times, the report also paints an unflattering picture of adviser DeRosa. She helped get revenge on one of the women who accused Cuomo.
DeRosa himself wrote in a statement, “It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve the people of New York for the past ten years.” “For me personally, the past two years have been very stressful emotionally and mentally.” According to the New York Times, the officer had worked for the Cuomo government since 2013. According to the Wall Street Journal, the governor described DeRosa himself as a close confidante in his latest book.
The report blames Cuomo for unwanted touches, kisses, hugs and inappropriate comments. In addition, the governor, who has been in office since 2011, created a “hostile work atmosphere” and a “climate of fear” for women. Numerous prominent Republican and Democrat politicians are now calling for his resignation, including US President Joe Biden.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied the charges and refused to resign. In addition to the impeachment procedure, however, he now also faces criminal consequences from various sides.