What’s next for Cuomo and New York state?
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — One of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s predecessors says the time had indeed come for him to step down while the women accusing him say he still does not seem very penitent about his scandal, and the question of the governor’s impeachment is technically not over either.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee met for the first time Monday to talk about its investigation into multiple allegations of wrongdoing by the governor, and that process is still ongoing.
Albany veterans say the state is headed in a new direction, of some kind.
"It’s just a sad day for New York," former New York Gov. George Pataki said.
Pataki admitted he was surprised to see Cuomo announce Tuesday he’s resigning, but he says it makes sense, with impeachment in the State Assembly almost certain and no prominent support in Albany from either party.
"He is facing, and could still be, criminal charges so it just was impossible for him to function as governor and I think he was aware of that and we needed a change," Pataki said.
"It feels like a weight is off my shoulders and hopefully I can move forward," Cuomo accuser Brittany Commisso said.
As Cuomo’s accusers and their lawyers spoke out after his announcement, several say even now, it fell short.
"He didn’t take responsibility," Commisso said. "He didn’t really apologize. Watching his press conference today, and his resignation, he almost still has the attitude as though he is the victim. When he is not the victim. He is the victimizer."
Cuomo’s troubles in Albany may not be over, with the Assembly still considering impeaching him.
Sen. Maj. Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who’s next in line to succeed Kathy Hochul as lieutenant governor, said that question is up to assemblymembers considering the case.
"Times up," Stewart-Cousins said. "We’ve got to move forward. And that’s what we’re doing. The rest, I think will know about and there may still be an impeachment but, whatever happens, we need to progress."
Meanwhile, with Cuomo and his two Democratic predecessors leaving office under a cloud of scandal, Pataki says a "change" in Albany may come from a Republican like him.
"I think it creates an opportunity for Republicans to argue that they can have an intelligent alternative message that will make the state a better place," Pataki said.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee is expected to take up its impeachment inquiry next week.