CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – Nearly one week after New York Attorney General Letitia James released her report on the sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Yorkers remain frustrated and concerned about the future of the state.
“With all due respect, I mean he made these laws and he didn’t follow him, so he’s kind of a hypocrite in a way if that’s what happened,” Cliff Marcus of Nassau County told 18 News.
Current and former residents agreed that Gov. Cuomo should be removed from office. According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 70 percent of New Yorkers think this way. 18 News ran a short poll via Instagram. As of 4:30 p.m. on Monday, 95 percent of voters say the three-term Governor should be removed from his position.
“Much of the COVID crisis he handled well. I’m very disappointed to hear about his sexual harassment allegations,” Sandy Parker of Hammondsport said.
Former residents Dominic and John Bianco said Gov. Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio’s policies encouraged them to leave the state and that they see many New Yorkers moving south.
“I’m not in favor of him and his policies or any of his previous actions, which unfortunately have just come to light,” John Bianco added.
Attorney General James is also investigating whether Cuomo broke the law by having members of his staff help write and promote his pandemic leadership book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” for which he was set to earn more than $5 million. Federal investigators are also probing the state’s handling of data related to nursing home deaths.
“I think that he should have been probably prosecuted for the nursing home thing,” Marcus continued.
If Gov. Cuomo is removed from office by impeachment or resignation, he will be succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. As she prepares to potentially take over, many are unsure of her policies.
“I know very little about her, so I really couldn’t make any comments,” Colleen Coro of Corning continued.
Hochul would become the state’s first woman governor if Cuomo were removed from office. A centrist Democrat from western New York, she has worked deep in Cuomo’s shadow for her two terms in office.
“I would have to really think about it I don’t remember a lot. know we had pretty positive feelings about her when she was in Buffalo,” Parker added.
To many New Yorkers, Hochul is an unknown quantity, serving since 2015 in a job that is mostly ceremonial. A typical afternoon in late July had her announcing job training funding in Utica, discussing manufacturing in Rome, and touring downtown Cazenovia with the small town’s mayor.
That has been nothing like the attention-demanding appearances of the determinedly high-profile Cuomo, who does most of his business in Albany and New York City and whose daily coronavirus briefings were national events at the height of the coronavirus.
Hochul has not been part of Cuomo’s inner circle of aides and allies. Her name wasn’t mentioned in the investigative report, released by Attorney General Letitia James, that detailed not only the harassment allegations against Cuomo but also efforts by his staff to discredit some of his accusers.
But at 62, Hochul is an experienced politician, a veteran of 11 campaigns that have taken her from town board to Congress, the latter representing a conservative western New York district after a surprising 2011 win in a special election to fill a vacancy in the U.S. House.
For continuing coverage on the investigations into Gov. Cuomo, stick with 18 News on-air and online.