Charlotte Bennett blasts NY Assembly over taking ‘the coward’s way out’ in dropping Cuomo impeachment

computer screen Carl Heastie
New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie looks at his computer screen.
  • Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett put the NY Assembly on blast for dropping its impeachment inquiry.
  • Once Cuomo leaves office, impeachment becomes constitutionally void.
  • However, nothing was stopping lawmakers from making their findings public.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was the subject of a scathing statement from Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett on Sunday.

Bennett, a former aide in the governor's office and a 25-year-old graduate of Hamilton College, was one of the most influential figures in Governor Andrew Cuomo's downfall after she came out as the second woman to accuse him of sexual harassment while in his employ.

After Cuomo announced he would leave office the week after next, the Assembly dropped its impeachment probe and decided not to make the findings public.

Constitutionally, Cuomo could not be impeached upon leaving office. The timeline would have involved the Senate waiting at least 30 days after articles of impeachment were filed to begin the trial for removal.

Since no articles were introduced yet, Cuomo's resignation announcement left the proceedings in limbo.

However, nothing was stopping Heastie from making the investigation's findings public and he called it off before the impeachment committee was set to meet on Monday.

"The speaker can't muster enough courage to simply do his job," Bennett wrote in her statement. "After spending millions of taxpayer dollars and issuing lofty statements, he's failed to lift a finger to make clear that New York rejects Cuomo's behavior."

Another issue with the impeachment investigation getting called off is that a conviction would have barred Cuomo from running for state office ever again.

He is still sitting on a nearly $20 million campaign war chest with strict regulations over where the money can be transferred.

Heastie came under intensifying criticism over the spring and summer for slow rolling the impeachment investigation. The committee only met on a handful of occasions.

A Bronx Democrat, Heastie also remained one of the least forceful in his condemnations of Cuomo's alleged sexual misconduct, which included several accusations of groping that were corroborated by the 165-page report from New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Heastie only called on Cuomo to resign hours after the report was released, and well after scores of other lawmakers called on the governor to step aside or reiterated earlier calls to the same effect.

Bennett wrote that Heastie took "the coward's way out" in calling off the probe.

"Employing a lazy legal argument and offering a poorly reasoned memo, the Speaker has taken the coward's way out," Bennett wrote.

"The Speaker has greatly miscalculated the commitment New Yorkers have to justice, accountability and transparency," she later continued. "We see you, Carl Heastie, and we aren't going anywhere."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Comments are closed.