New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi Talks to Katie About Cuomo’s Resignation

Alessandra Biaggi

“I don’t believe that he is somebody fit for public service anymore.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sudden resignation sent shockwaves through the state and the country. Cuomo’s star had risen in the early days of the pandemic, as he steered New York State through a deadly first wave of infections and gained national attention for his daily Covid-19 news briefings. 

But early this year, his image took a hit when an investigation found his administration had undercounted nursing home deaths. Then, one after another, women began coming forward to accuse the governor of sexual harassment. After months of denying wrongdoing, the state attorney general released a damning report that concluded Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women. His resignation came a week later and caught Albany by surprise. 

Cuomo announced his resignation in a news conference, in which he denied the attorney general’s findings and blamed his behavior on “generational and cultural shifts” that he didn’t fully grasp. 

New York State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, who once worked in the governor’s office and has been an outspoken critic of Cuomo, sat down with Katie after the news broke. She said she found the speech disappointing and argued that the governor should have had a comprehensive understanding of what currently constitutes sexual harassment considering he “signed and championed” anti-harassment legislation she sponsored in 2019.

“There was no moment in the press conference where there was an accounting of the behavior,” Biaggi said in a new interview. 

Though Cuomo will officially leave the post within the month and will be replaced by current Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, state legislators still have to decide whether to move forward with impeachment. Biaggi says it’s crucial they continue the process in order to bar Cuomo from holding office again. But she’s “not confident” it’ll take place now that’s he’s made the decision to step down. 

“Now there’s an opportunity for us to not only have a trial in the Senate, but also to be able to prevent — if we see fit — this governor from running for office again,” she said. “Because if he is not impeached…he can run for office again. And I don’t believe that he is somebody fit for public service anymore.”

Biaggi also discussed the “culture of fear” that she said was pervasive in the executive chamber and kept her and others from speaking out earlier and more. Watch the full interview.