Cuomo Accuser Blasts NY Assembly Speaker for Taking 'Coward's Way Out' in Suspending Probe

At least two of the 11 women who accused Andrew Cuomo of sexual misconduct are blasting the Democrat-controlled New York State Assembly for suspending its impeachment investigation into the governor.

Former Cuomo staffer Charlotte Bennett said on Sunday that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is using a legal technicality in order to end any ongoing investigation into the soon-to-be ex-governor's actions in office.

My response to Speaker @CarlHeastie's decision to end the impeachment investigation: pic.twitter.com/7Cw68K10vT

— Charlotte Bennett (@_char_bennett_) August 15, 2021

"Speaker Carl Heastie's unilateral decision to end the impeachment investigation into the Governor sends a very clear message to New Yorkers: the New York State Assembly thinks corruption, sexual harassment/assault and retaliation are acceptable," Bennett wrote in a statement posted to social media Sunday.

"[The accusers] took the enormous risk of speaking out about the abuse and harassment we experienced, and the AG's independent investigation that followed corroborated our allegations and determined that the Governor broke state and federal law. Still, the Speaker can't muster enough courage to simply do his job...Employing a lazy legal argument and offering a poorly reasoned memo, the Speaker has taken the coward's way out," she continued.

Cuomo has denied all the allegations of sexual misconduct against him, including Bennett's claims that he pried into her own past as a sexual assault survivor. He allegedly told Bennett he "wanted to be touched" and that her survival story "resonated" with him.

Cuomo, whose resignation is set to take effect on August 24, reportedly received "no deal" from Assembly lawmakers before making their decision to pause the impeachment probe.

Heastie issued a statement on Friday that defended the decision, highlighting the Assembly Judiciary Committee's failure to uncover any "credible evidence" of misconduct by the governor. Heastie's remarks also addressed the simultaneous lingering Cuomo allegations pertaining to nursing home COVID-19 deaths and improper use of public funds for his multi-million dollar book deal during the height of the pandemic.

"There are two reasons for this decision. First, the purpose of the Assembly Judiciary Committee's impeachment investigation was to determine whether Governor Cuomo should remain in office. The governor's resignation answers that directive. Second, we have been advised by Chair Lavine - with the assistance of counsel - of the belief that the constitution does not authorize the legislature to impeach and remove an elected official who is no longer in office," Heastie's statement read.

The Assembly’s decision to call off its impeachment investigation is an unjust cop out. The public deserves to know the extent of the Governor’s misdeeds and possible crimes. His victims deserve justice and to know he will not be able harm others.

— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) August 13, 2021

Meanwhile, a second Cuomo accuser, Lindsey Boylan, also ridiculed the suspension of the probe in a Friday tweet: "The Assembly's decision to call of its impeachment investigation is an unjust cop out. The public deserves to know the extent of the Governor's misdeeds and possible crimes. His victims deserve justice and to know he will not be able to harm others."

In a separate tweet that same day, she wrote: ".@CarlHeastie is certainly no profile in courage. He dragged his feet on an investigation and grossly said, 'any one of us in this place could be accused.' Now he's ready to forget about it. We deserve better."

.@CarlHeastie is certainly no profile in courage. He dragged his feet on an investigation and grossly said, “any one of us in this place could be accused.” Now he’s ready to forget about it. We deserve better.

— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) August 13, 2021

Newsweek reached out to Heastie's New York state offices Sunday afternoon for any additional response or remarks about the paused Cuomo probe.

Cuomo accuser blasts Assembly speaker
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is under fire from Charlotte Bennett and Lindsey Boylan over the suspension of an impeachment investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. In this photo, he declares a state of emergency Tuesday due to the ongoing violence on July 06, 2021 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images