Critics are demanding Gov. Cuomo leave office immediately instead of waiting two weeks to step down — and they aren’t buying his claim that the delay is due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think the easiest, best and cleanest thing for the governor to do right now is to make his resignation immediate,” state Senator Andrew Gounardes (D-Brooklyn) told The Post Tuesday a few hours after Cuomo announced his resignation.
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi had claimed the delay is “to ensure an orderly transition at this critical time where the key decisions still remain on COVID-19, the Delta variant and other significant challenges facing the state.”
“I don’t know what key decision they might be referring to. I think with the expiration of the emergency powers there aren’t any key decision left to be made,” Gounardes said, citing the state legislature’s move in March to strip Cuomo of the nearly unchecked authority he enjoyed during the height of the pandemic.
“I would be very concerned about the governor trying to spend the next few weeks trying to manipulate the levers of the government in some way, shape or form — either ram something through or install allies in key positions,” Gounardes said.
Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), who chairs the body’s health committee, also called B.S. on governor’s reasoning behind the two week wait.
“Any ‘key decisions’ he might take in the next 14 days are steps he should have taken weeks or months ago,” Levine said.
A source with inside knowledge of the governor’s thinking said, “The only reason he’s doing 14 days is his need to control the process as much as possible.”
Melissa DeRosa, the governor’s No. 2, announced her own resignation Sunday but is also waiting two weeks before leaving her job as Cuomo’s trusted secretary. She was seen with Cuomo Tuesday when he gave a televised address about his departure.
Women’s groups blasted Cuomo for taking his time to exit Albany.
“Governor Cuomo should not serve another day in office. Plain and simple,” said Heidi Sieck, head of the interest group #VOTEPROCHOICE.
“His resignation should be effective immediately. His long history of duplicity and using feminist talking points to hide deep corruption must come to an end,” Sieck said.
Another women’s rights organization, UltraViolet, criticized the governor for slow walking his resignation, noting that Attorney General Letitia James found on Aug. 3 that he sexually harassed multiple women.
“UltraViolet believes Cuomo should have resigned immediately, citing AG James’ independent investigation concluding he broke the law by sexually harassing and retaliating against women in attempt to force them not to speak out,” a rep for the group told The Post.
“The organization also believes the New York State Assembly should move forward with impeachment proceedings without delay,” she said.
When former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced his resignation in 2008 after being linked to a prostitution ring, he left office just five days later.
Additional reporting by Sean Conlon