Local lawmakers react to governor’s apology

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Some local lawmakers say New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s apology isn’t enough.

On Sunday, Cuomo released an apology. This comes after a second woman has accused the governor of sexual harassment. Speaking to the New York Times, former aide Charlotte Bennett, 25, claims the Governor asked her if she was monogamous and if she had ever been with an older man.

“These are very serious allegations. Just coming out with an apology, it’s not going to do it,” says Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara.  

I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that….To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Republican Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh doesn’t want to make any judgements prior to the completion of an investigation, but says both parties have the right to share their sides to the story.“He might not consider the behavior as being sexually harassing, maybe, he didn’t intend it to be so but he is the chief executive of our state and these were both women who worked for him in subordinate positions,” says Assemblymember Mary Beth Walsh.

Lawmakers say between the FBI investigation into nursing home deaths and these new allegations, there is a lot going on right now as they head into another legislative week.

“I don’t know how we’re supposed to go into budget negotiations with a governor that has all these looming issues around him…This should be a time we’re working on the budget, passing legislation, and we’re not doing that because of all the chaos he has caused with everything that has happened so far,” says Santabarbara. While this is certainly causing a distraction lawmakers tell NEWS10 they’re confident the work will still get done.

“At the end of the day, the governor and the legislature know their jobs, they have responsibilities. We need to work in the best interest of all New Yorkers,” says Assemblymember John McDonald.  

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Empire State Weekly

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