Press Release: Assembly Member Charles Barron criticizes the decision to halt impeachment proceedings against Governor Cuomo

August 18, 2021

Assemblyman Charles Barron Contact: 718-257-5824 The decision to suspend impeachment proceedings against Governor Cuomo is disturbing and unconscionable. Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie and Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Lavine should be ashamed of their decision. The report Attorney General James produced in regard to the allegations against Governor Cuomo and the investigation done by the Assembly Judiciary Committee into those allegations, illustrate that not only did he violate Federal and State law, but he also unequivocally failed the people of New York. Allegedly, Governor Cuomo violated eleven women, abused NYS resources for his own personal gratification, and covered up nursing home deaths. Based on these allegations, impeachment proceedings should continue.

According to the constitution of New York State, the power to approve and disapprove impeachment is given to the Assembly, not to the Speaker of the Assembly and the Judiciary Committee Chair alone. Furthermore, the matter was never brought before the Democratic Caucus for discussion. Speaker Heastie and Chair Lavine have suspended the impeachment proceedings based on their interpretation of Article VI of the New York State Constitution. They cite that the purpose of the impeachment is to remove the governor from office and that his resignation satisfies that part of the directive. Then they cite that they “believe” that the constitution does not authorize the legislature to impeach and remove an elected official who is no longer in office. The governor is still in office and an impeachment is much more than just removing an elected official from office. An impeachment is a formal legal expression that states that the elected official, based on their actions, is no longer fit for office and is disqualified from holding any public office. The constitution does not state clearly that an elected official cannot be impeached after resigning from office. The decision to suspend the impeachment is a grievous mistake because it sets a very dangerous precedent. Governor Cuomo should not be able to resign to avoid being formally impeached for his violations.

In defense of the people, I demand that New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Lavine continue with the impeachment proceedings of Governor Cuomo

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