Judiciary Committee Chair Charles D. Lavine Statement
On March 11, 2021, New York State Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie charged the Assembly Judiciary Committee with the solemn responsibility of commencing an impeachment investigation into allegations of misconduct against Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Within a week, the committee retained a highly respected team of lawyers and investigators from Davis Polk & Wardwell, LLP to lead the investigation, which encompasses several matters including allegations of sexual harassment, issues surrounding COVID-19 and nursing homes, and allegations concerning defects on the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The committee will also pursue other matters that have come to light since the initial announcement of this investigation, including reports relating to the publishing of the governor's memoir last year.
The members of the Judiciary Committee and I are fully committed to ensuring that all the proper steps are taken to fully and fairly investigate these matters. The due process rights of those making the accusations and of those being accused require no less.
On March 15, 2021, the committee served formal notice on the Executive Chamber that there was to be no retaliation against any potential witnesses. Earlier this month, a hotline and an email address were set up so individuals could confidentially provide information relevant to the investigation. To date, we have received more than 100 tips, and lawyers are following up on the relevant leads. We are, as well, reaching out to the attorneys representing potential witnesses and arranging interviews. Additionally, document preservation and production notices are being issued to various individuals and entities to ensure that information relevant to the investigation is preserved.
This is not a responsibility that any involved take lightly. I have the utmost faith that my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee and our independent team of lawyers will continue to conduct this investigation in a thorough and expeditious manner fully reflecting the seriousness of the allegations facing the governor and his administration. The committee will be meeting on Wednesday, April 21 to continue our work.