The New York State Assembly vote was halted after a leaked debate over the impeachment of Cuomo
New York State Assembly spokesman Carl Heastie temporarily stopped voting in the chamber on Tuesday amid concerns about relaying news media organizations to a controversial meeting of Democratic lawmakers on March 11. Heastie’s move followed the publication of a Yahoo News story detailing the meeting of the Assembly’s Democratic Conference on the possible impeachment of Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“The government has shut down,” one lawmaker said of Heastie’s apparent reaction to the Yahoo News story. “He hit the floor in the middle of the vote and said the session was over.”
Heastie suspended the session as members of the congregation voted on the HALT Act, which would end solitary confinement in New York State. Due to the pandemic, the vote took place both via video conference and in the assembly chamber. According to lawmakers, who requested anonymity because of Heastie’s anger over leaks, the speaker initially failed to explain why he abandoned the gathering session.
New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. (Erik McGregor / LightRocket via Getty Images)
The speaker’s decision to stop voting came after Yahoo News asked him to comment on a story based on audio from a March 11 meeting about Cuomo. At that meeting, the Democratic Conference discussed whether the governor should be charged in response to multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and an alleged cover-up of deaths in nursing homes in the early days of last year’s coronavirus pandemic. During that videoconference, Heastie cited “due process” and said he had decided to conduct a preliminary investigation to see if a formal impeachment should be initiated. While the majority of Congregation Democrats at the meeting agreed with Heastie, others argued that he was buying “time” for the governor, who is also a Democrat.
Heastie and his office did not respond to requests for comment. During the March 11 conference, Heastie and other members of the congregation expressed frustration at previous leaks in their internal debates on Cuomo.
The story goes on
“I think whoever did that was a coward for leaving this conference and doing something like that, and I just want to put it on the file. This shit has to stop, ”Heastie said.
Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York. (Mark Lennihan-Pool / Getty Images)
A second lawmaker, who also asked for anonymity, said Heastie stopped the HALT Act vote “right in the middle” Tuesday afternoon and put “everyone” in a virtual room. The second legislature said Heastie had told Congregation Democrats they couldn’t be trusted and he would no longer hold meetings with the entire conference. Instead, Heastie said he would meet with smaller groups to see what was being said and possible leaks. According to the legislature, the vote on the HALT law was resumed after the talk about leaks.
“He was angrier than ever,” the second legislature said of Heastie.
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