NEW YORK — New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) addressed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation announcement Tuesday, criticizing him for not taking full accountability for his actions.
“Accepting responsibility means not gaslighting the women, not gaslighting the families, the victims who lost their loved ones in the nursing homes. It’s telling the truth and taking responsibility for the mistakes that you’ve made. That is not what he said,” the assemblyman told PIX11 News.
Following news of Cuomo’s resignation, Kim said he was “relieved, grateful and worried at the same time.”
“I am relieved for the people of New York that we can get back to the people’s work. I am grateful for the women who stepped up courageously so we can get to this outcome today. I’m also worried that we may not have the accountability that we desperately need so we know what went wrong with all the issues,” Kim said. Other issued include the coronavirus-related nursing home deaths, the sexual harassment allegations and his book deal.
Though Kim said the governor is “doing the right thing” by stepping aside, he said lawmakers “need to do our jobs” and continue to work to hold him accountable for his actions.
When asked if state lawmakers will continue to move forward on impeachment, the Queens assemblyman said they will most likely reconvene as a Democratic convergence and come up with a decision.
“I trust that my colleagues will also demand accountability and make sure that there’s justice for women and justice for older adults in the state of New York,” Kim said.
Cuomo announced his resignation Tuesday while speaking live for first time since the attorney general’s scathing report on numerous sexual harassment accusations against the governor.
His resignation will take effect on Aug. 24, and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will take over, becoming New York’s first female governor.
With Hochul taking over, Kim said the state “can’t just usher in another Cuomo validator into this discussion” and he wants to make sure they ask her “tough questions,” including whether or not she knew about the alleged toxic nature of Cuomo’s office or if she’ll introduce any plans to prevent anything similar to this.
Kim said he is “confident” all the leaders across the state will work together to make sure that New Yorkers will be protected.
“We don’t need to buy into the narrative that the governor did a good job of protecting us,” referencing the thousands of nursing home residents who died from COVID under Cuomo’s direction.
The assemblyman has previously exposed the governor’s abuse of power.
In February, Kim claimed Cuomo had vowed to “destroy” him following criticism of the governor’s handling of COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes.
The governor’s attorney Rita Glavin also spoke Tuesday morning on the harassment accusations prior to Cuomo’s resignation announcement.
In the week since, leaders and lawmakers from both parties have called on Cuomo to resign, while prosecutors from several New York counties are looking into criminal investigations of the governors alleged behavior.
New York lawmakers have also taken another early step toward possibly impeaching the governor.
The State Assembly’s judiciary committee met for the first time on Monday.
The committee, which has given Cuomo until Friday to respond to the allegations, will continue to meet in private through at least Aug. 23 to discuss hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and other evidence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.