ALBANY — An attorney for former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday sought to examine and respond to an investigative report by an Assembly committee considering impeachment of Cuomo in a move that could delay public release of the findings.
Members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday began viewing the 45-page report behind closed doors. The viewings will continue Friday.
Independent counsel hired by the committee compiled the report.
The report examined sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo and other issues.
The Assembly had anticipated releasing the report soon after members had reviewed it.
But the request by Cuomo's attorney, Rita Glavin could keep the report under wraps longer.
Glavin said she needs to see the report so she can prepare a response.
"We asked … to go into a room and look at the evidence," Glavin said in a news conference over Zoom.
Without a preview, "we cannot respond adequately," Glavin said.
Glavin made the request in a letter to the Judiciary Committee.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) would have to approve Glavin's request.
Assemb. Rebecca Seawright (D-Manhattan) said in a statement she found the report's "contents to be extremely disturbing and compelling. I believe that the report should be released publicly after the committee has completed its work."
Seawright did not reveal the report's contents.
Assemb. Michael Montesano (R-Glen Head) told Newsday that investigators appeared to have found information that could result in penalties assessed against the $5.1 million Cuomo received for writing his 2020 memoir.
The Judiciary Committee is examining whether Cuomo improperly used top aides and state resources to edit the book.
"In my opinion, there are several violations of the Public Officers Law that could result in fines and return of money," Montesano said.
The committee also is investigating whether Cuomo publicly undercounted deaths of nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Montesano said the investigative report doesn’t document any "intentional wrongful acts" on Cuomo’s part in counting the deaths.
Montesano said the report found Cuomo chose to count the deaths of thousands of nursing home residents as residents of the hospitals to which they had been transferred.
That had been Cuomo’s reasoning for publicly reporting 6,500 deaths in nursing homes during the height of the pandemic in 2020, when the total number of deaths of nursing home residents was about 10,000.
"Nobody was lying, it was just how you counted it," Montesano said.
The Judiciary Committee could choose to impeach Cuomo and bar him from running for statewide elected office again.
Montesano also said the report concludes Cuomo can’t be banned from seeking future office through impeachment under the state Constitution.
Montesano said investigators concluded Cuomo’s resignation effective Aug. 21 precludes the committee from recommending impeachment.
Montesano said the report found the lifetime prohibition can only be part of the removal from office penalty,
"Once he’s out, you can’t impeach him," Montesano said.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) and other committee members wouldn’t comment on the report.