Assembly Judiciary Committee goes into executive session

Cuomo Under Fire

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Assembly Judiciary Committee went into executive session Wednesday to discuss the ongoing impeachment investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The committee is working with the firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP to conduct its efforts.

Calls and emails continue to pour into the hotline set up by Davis Polk. In total Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Lavine says the firm has spoken with attorneys for about 70 people who “may have relevant information.”

“Davis Polk has received contacts. The number of contacts is in excess of 200 through the hotline,” Lavine said.

The committee is investigating allegations of misconduct against the Governor from sexual harassment claims to whether he used state resources to produce his book. There’s been no definitive timeline on how long the Assembly investigation could take, but likely “

“There’s outreach going on. There’s gathering of documentation, reaching out to witnesses and complainants,” said Republican Assemblyman Mike Montesano following the executive session today.

Meanwhile, multiple state watchdog organizations have sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to hold oversight hearings on the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and the issue of enforcement. Critics of the commission have argued that it is not an independent agency because the Governor and lawmakers appoint its members.

“JCOPE is far less transparent than a criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecution, once there’s an indictment, you know everything,” said Evan Davis with the Committee to Reform the State Constitution.

A spokesperson from JCOPE had no comment on the letter. 

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said that members of her conference have started discussions about ethics reform. “We have spoken about ethics reform and looking at some of the possibilities of making changes to JCOPE and we’re always looking to strengthen accountability,” she said.

Last month, the Judiciary Committee sent a notice of no retaliation to the governor against potential witnesses. 

The Senate Majority Leader was at a press briefing with the governor on Wednesday in Yonkers despite calling for him to resign. Cuomo was asked if he would resign if the Attorney General found that he did break sexual harassment laws. He responded, “Let’s see what the review says.”

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