Statement from Senator Myrie, Assemblymember Richardson on Governor Cuomo

Zellnor Myrie

March 12, 2021

Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie and Assembly Member Diana C. Richardson today issued the following statement:

“The Governor, like anyone else, is entitled to due process under the law and we have full confidence in the Attorney General's ongoing investigation. But he is not entitled to remain in the most powerful office in the State when, by his words and actions, he has irreparably damaged his trustworthiness and ability to lead, and while the rest of us twist in the wind awaiting new and more disturbing allegations.

“As New Yorkers, especially in moments of crisis, we depend on our leaders to act in the best interests of the people. In this moment of profound crisis for our state, it is clear Governor Cuomo can no longer effectively lead us through the challenges we face, or the necessary rebuilding that lay ahead. For this reason, he must resign.

“In coming to this conclusion, we have considered the very serious, credible allegations of sexual harassment made against the Governor over the past two weeks, and the impact his actions have had on these women and their careers in public service. We have also considered the threats made against other colleagues in government, and the withholding of critical information about nursing homes and a signature infrastructure project from the Legislature and the public. Any of these alone would call into question the ability to continue to govern; taken together, they paint a picture of patterned, abusive behavior unbecoming of the office. 

“Every moment he remains in office costs us time and attention we simply do not have. With each passing day and each new revelation, we lose precious hours that should be spent negotiating the most difficult budget in State history and ensuring that needed relief gets to the people who need it most. This is the work we in government were elected to do.

“Many of our constituents do not believe the governor should resign. They believe we should wait for the investigations to conclude before making any judgments. While we hear and value these concerns, we believe that our Constitution provides for governance to continue while the investigations are ongoing. It is the precise reason we have a Lieutenant Governor. 

“The epilogue to the governor's ‘Lessons in Leadership’ is now being written. These final pages can recall his many successes in leading New York through the darkest days of our fight with COVID-19, and his willingness to stand aside when it became clear he could no longer effectively lead the state. Or they can reprise the obfuscation, stonewalling and stubbornness that have characterized the worst impulses of his administration. The choice is the author's alone."