Lawyers working on the New York Assembly impeachment inquiry into Governor Andrew Cuomo have received over 200 calls to a tip hotline and have contacted lawyers for more than 70 people and four government agencies, the state judiciary committee chairman said Wednesday.
“The Davis Polk team has been working with all due and deliberate speed since their engagement to investigate each and every one of these allegations,” Charles Lavine said during the panel’s second hearing.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is serving as counsel for the committee.
The committee and its counsel warned Cuomo’s office in a letter against any retaliatory actions against those cooperating with the investigation, Lavine said. Lavine, a Democrat, has said there’s no timeline to complete the investigation and that it could span a number of months.
Cuomo is facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and claims his administration undercounted coronavirus deaths at nursing homes around the state, claims he’s denied. He is also facing federal investigations into the state’s handling of nursing home deaths, and state probes overseen by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The three-term governor has denied all allegations of improper behavior and has refused to step down. When asked again Wednesday if he would resign if James discovered instances of misconduct, he said: “Let’s see what the review says and we will take it from there.”
Lavine on Wednesday said he could only provide a “high-level overview” of the ongoing investigation before the committee went into a private executive session.
The Assembly is taking the first step toward impeachment proceedings. The committee’s findings could provide the legal basis to write formal articles of impeachment, a process that hasn’t been seen in New York since 1913.
The investigation announced on March 11 includes the accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace impropriety, an alleged cover-up of Covid-19 nursing home deaths, structural problems on a state bridge, and the use of state resources for Cuomo’s book on the pandemic.
The committee is afforded subpoena power to interview witnesses and evaluate evidence.
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