Assembly impeachment probe into Cuomo has received over 200 tips through hotline

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ALBANY — Investigators hired by the state Assembly have received over 200 tips pertaining to an impeachment inquiry into Gov. Andrew Cuomo over a broad range of allegations including sexual harassment and data pertaining to COVID-19 in nursing homes.

Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavine (D-Nassau) said besides the over 200 tips collected through the impeachment hotline, the lawyers from Davis Polk & Wardwell charged with leading the probe have “been working diligently to determine facts relevant to the investigation.”

“Davis Polk has been in contact with counsel for potential witnesses in this investigation,” said Lavine during the nearly 10 minutes of the public session before heading into a closed-door meeting.

“In total, Davis Polk has spoken with attorneys for about 70 people who may have relevant information and Davis Polk has also been in contact with four government agencies about potentially relevant information,” he added. 

The Assembly Judiciary Committee first announced they would launch an impeachment investigation on March 11. 

Their first meeting was held on March 23, and Wednesday’s conference marked the second.

Lavine explained the inquiry spans four areas including:

  • multiple allegations of sexual harassment waged against the governor by women who were either former employees or in contact with him
  • the release of data pertaining to state coronavirus policy in long term care facilities and the publication of his 2020 book “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic 
  • the safety concerns of bridges in the state, including the new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
  • whether or not the governor have knowledge of or direct executive staff to “suppress or obstruct related investigations”

But Lavine has previously admitted the inquiry could take “months” due to the “breadth and seriousness of the issues under investigation. 

Meanwhile, Cuomo faces an investigation specific to allegations of sexual harassment from the office of Attorney General Letitia James.

He has repeatedly said he will not resign from office until results — from either probe — are made public.

Critics have also argued the Assembly’s probe is potentially politically tainted, as the husband of Cuomo appointee, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore of the state Court of Appeals as a partner at Davis Polk for over three decades. 

Several lawyers representing women who have publicly accused the governor of harassment told The Post they were contacted this week by Assembly investigators seeking to schedule an interview.

Ana Liss, a former staffer to the governor who detailed an inappropriate work environment and unwanted touching by her ex-boss, told The Post she has not yet been contacted.

“I am concerned about the politically charged nature of this investigation. I don’t think it will be as incisive as the state Attorney General’s investigation because it covers such a wide scope and the attorneys involved have connections to the governor,” she said.

Liss was interviewed by lawyers from James’s office last month, and said despite her concerns with the Assembly’s inquiry she would still appreciate a call.

“The bottom line…is when you’re investigating something you still pick up the phone,” she explained.

Assemblymember Ken Zebrowski (D-Rockland), who sits on the committee, defended the effort following the meeting.

“Doing an impeachment investigation of the governor for the first time in 100 years is serious, it’s complicated, and we need to make sure the investigation is thorough and appropriate,” he said during a phone interview. 

Just one governor — William “Plain Bill” Sulzer — has ever been ousted in the state’s history through impeachment proceedings. He was removed from office in 1913, six months after his election in 1912.

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