Carl Heastie, speaker of the New York Assembly, has authorized the Judiciary Committee to launch an impeachment investigation into Andrew Cuomo after another woman came forward accusing the governor of sexual misconduct.
“The reports of accusations concerning the governor are serious,” Heastie said in a statement, authorizing the Committee power to interview witnesses and subpoena documents. “I have the utmost faith that Assembly member [Charles] Lavine and the members of the committee will conduct an expeditious, full, and thorough investigation.”
In an article which ran in the Albany’s Times Union on Tuesday, a source close to the woman disclosed that she alleged Cuomo had groped her after first calling her to the governor’s mansion to help him with a cellular phone issue. The woman alleges that the governor began fondling her beneath her blouse once they were alone in the residence, and that this was not the first time he had touched her.
The name of the woman, as well as the source who spoke on her behalf, have been withheld.
Five other women have accused Cuomo of sexual misconduct, including staff members Lindsay Boylan and Charlotte Bennett, as well as Anna Ruch, who alleges that Cuomo made unwanted advances on her at a wedding. The accusations have prompted New York Attorney General Letitia James to launch an independent investigation into the claims.
The conduct described in the latest allegations is “the most egregious behavior attributed to the governor to date,” the Times Union reports, “and could potentially be pursued as a misdemeanor assault charge.”
Cuomo has denied the recent allegations, telling the Times Union that “The details of the report are gut-wrenching,” and that he “has never done anything like this.”
In a press conference earlier this month, the governor apologized for actions that may have made others uncomfortable, adding that he “had never meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone.” He has also denied touching anyone inappropriately.
The latest accusation comes amid calls from state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle that the governor step down.