“As a coequal branch of government, the state Legislature has an obligation to serve as the checks and balances for our other branches of government, particularly in situations exactly as we find ourselves in today with the Cuomo administration’s mishandling of nursing home data. I am supporting Leader Barclay in our conference’s move to create a commission to investigate, report and recommend to the Legislature whether articles of impeachment against the governor should be drafted. This process follows historical precedent used last in 1913, when Gov. Sulzer was impeached for multiple violations of the public trust following an investigation by such a commission.
“As an attorney, I believe facts matter. In addition to forming this commission, I am renewing my call (as I have been making since July) that the Legislature immediately rescind the governor’s emergency powers. I am encouraged by reports that a vote will be taken up in the state Senate, and hope Speaker Heastie will bring this measure up for a vote in the Assembly, as well. It is overdue.
“But New Yorkers deserve more than that. With 15,000 of our most vulnerable citizens dead, their grieving families deserve answers and justice. There must be thorough, independent and transparent investigations. It is good news that the FBI and U.S. Attorney for Eastern District of New York have opened investigations, but it would be prudent to appoint a special prosecutor to ensure there are no conflicts of interest. We must find out what are the real facts and get to the bottom of this in order to protect New Yorkers. This must be done expeditiously in order to ensure our government remains honest and transparent, particularly during this extraordinary pandemic.