Embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo's political fate may be in the hands of the Democratic conference in the state Assembly, as lawmakers there expect to meet later today to discuss the next steps amid an unfolding series of allegations against him.
The Times Union on Wednesday reported an aide to the governor has alleged he groped her last year at the Executive Mansion in Albany. Cuomo has denied the claim.
But he is now facing a growing number of accusations of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior from six women. Attorney General Letitia James's office is investigating.
"In light of the allegations concerning the Governor over the last several weeks, I will be meeting with members in conference today on potential paths forward," Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said on Thursday morning.
The Assembly has the power to impeach Cuomo. The 150-member chamber would likely need a total of 76 Democrats to impeach him, given that traditionally Democratic leaders do not want the aid of Republican votes to pass legislation or resolutions.
An impeachment trial would be conducted in the state Senate, where Democratic leadership has also called on Cuomo to resign. Two-thirds of lawmakers would be needed to remove the governor from office.
While under impeachment, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul would serve as acting governor.
A growing number of Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, have called on Cuomo to step aside. More than 55 Democratic members of the Assembly and the Senate are calling for Cuomo to step aside in a joint statement, saying the multiple problems facing the governor, including scrutiny over nursing home deaths, have become too much of a distraction.
“As legislators and as New Yorkers we all must decide what is best for the future of New York State," the lawmakers said in the statement.
"The budget, the fight against COVID-19, and restarting the economy all demand clear and trustworthy leadership. In light of the Governor’s admission of inappropriate behavior and the findings of altered data on nursing home COVID-19 deaths he has lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature, rendering him ineffective in this time of most urgent need."