Although tarnished New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) tacitly filed for retirement benefits this week, he appears to be leaving his post in the least quiet way possible.
Cuomo lashed out at a reporter who asked him about the most recent reports of potential retaliation from former aide Charlotte Bennett in the ongoing drama of the embattled democrat’s sexual harassment scandal. Cuomo snapped at the reporter claiming he didn’t want to discuss, “Albany politics.”
“This is about a storm briefing to save lives of New Yorkers, ” Cuomo, who is scheduled to resign this week, told the Law Journal reporter.
“If you think justice is to accept a complaint from a person, without investigation, and without credibility determinations, and without looking at past actions of a person, then you don’t know what the justice system is,” he said, attacking the reporter, Bennett, and state Attorney General Letitia James who wrote the 165-page report on his apparent sexual misdeeds.
“You’ve never been in a situation where you just reiterate complaints,” Cuomo said. “And you don’t investigate them and you don’t say, whether or not the law even applies to them. That’s not justice, that’s a bulletin board posting complaints.”
“I can make a complaint about you today,” Cuomo scolded the reporter. “Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not true, but that’s why they do investigations. New Yorkers, please take this storm seriously,” he said, eager to move on past the scandal.
Cuomo’s announced his retirement amid allegations of ongoing sexual harassment of at least 11 women and talk of possible impeachment although he continues to claim his innocence.
“I feel like I did the right thing. I did the right thing for the state,” the governor said. “I’m not gonna drag the state through the mud, through a three-month, four-month impeachment, and then win, and have made the state legislature and the state government look like a ship of fools, when everything I’ve done all my life was for the exact opposite.”
“I’m not doing that. I feel good. I’m not a martyr. It’s just, I saw the options, option A, option B,” Cuomo explained.
Once he announced his retirement, the impeachment investigation was suspended reportedly because they do not believe they can impeach a governor who no longer holds office.
Cuomo’s retirement is expected to be in effect September 1. according to a spokesperson from the New York State Comptroller’s office as reported by Rochester First.
He could receive a pension of up to $50,000 each year until his death with few exceptions such as being convicted of a felony or an amendment to the state’s constitution. Since January 1, 2021, his gubernatorial salary has been $250,000.
In order to be eligible for benefits, the application must be on file at least 15 days prior but no more than 90 days prior to the scheduled retirement date according to the Eligibility requirements listed on the State Comptroller’s website. The 15-day requirement is waived for those over age 70 at retirement, but this provision does not apply to the 63-year-old governor.
The governor will be succeeded by now Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul (D) on August 24 as the first female governor of the state.
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