Courtesy of RochesterFirst/ Don Pollard/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Although the Governor did not succeed in appointing new leaders for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, he did manage to appoint two new judges to the New York State Court of Appeals – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, and Manhattan judge Anthony Cannataro – at the end of the state Legislature’s annual session. It was a very close vote, with Ms. Singas approved 38-25 and Mr. Cannataro confirmed 45-18. Aside from the controversial fact that every member of the Court of Appeals has been nominated by the Governor since he took office, these new appointments have a more pressing caveat: Ms. Singas and Mr. Cannataro will also be required to sit as jurors should the Governor’s impeachment trial come to fruition.
The impeachment trial would be the judicial culmination to a months-long investigation into a slew of misconducts perpetrated by the Governor, including: past and present sexual harassment allegations, Covid-19 policies directed towards nursing homes, the use of state resources for his memoir, and his abuse of power in using Covid-19 testing resources for his close connections. The investigation has been underway for several months now, under the direction of Assemblyman Charles Lavine, with a price tag of a quarter of a million dollars and rising; a $157 million state appropriation has been made available to use for the ongoing probe as well, as voted by the Assembly and Senate. These efforts are further supported by the very public calls for resignation or impeachment coming from dozens of Democratic politicians, as well as the majority of Republicans.
Although Ms. Singas and Mr. Cannataro testified that they would continue to act independently during their confirmation hearings, many lawmakers remain suspicious.
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