De Blasio Reacts To Cuomo Resignation: 'There Has To Be Accountability,' Says Governor 'Should Never Run For Office Again'
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation, saying he "felt a sense of relief."
The mayor previously said he was on vacation this week, but he appeared at a press briefing about the city's excessive heat warning.
"I did not expect him to do what I regard as the decent thing and get out of the way," he said. "So I was surprised, and I felt a sense of relief for all of us."
Cuomo announced his resignation Tuesday, after an independent investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James' office found the he sexually harassed 11 women and created a hostile work environment. The governor maintained he "never crossed the line with anyone," but said he would "step aside and let government get back to governing."
"I think, ultimately, the most important thing for us to recognize is these women were vindicated," de Blasio said Thursday. "They said something was horribly wrong, they came forward, and an extraordinarily powerful, bullying guy was brought down because they stood up."
CBS2's Marcia Kramer asked the mayor about his relationship with Cuomo and if he felt Albany was a toxic workplace.
"I've talked to mayors around the state, county executives ... everyone feels the same thing. The disrespect, the withholding of the kinds of things that any normal governor would do in working with a colleague at the local level as part of political payback. I mean, we've all seen it," he replied.
De Blasio was also asked about whether the state Legislature should move forward with articles of impeachment and if the governor should be allowed to hold office again.
"There has to be accountability, whatever form that takes," he replied. "What would be a huge mistake is to leave this chapter and not find out exactly what happened, and who did it, and how to make sure it never happens again."
"He should never run for office again, obviously," de Blasio went on to say. "We've just seen the beginning of the proof of the damage he did. He should never hold office again, whatever happens, impeachment or no impeachment."
De Blasio added he doesn't think Cuomo should be the only one facing the music.
"The governor wasn't the only actor in all this. Others need to be held accountable as well," he said.
READ MORE: Cuomo's Executive Assistant Brittany Commisso Speaks Publicly About Groping Allegation; Top Aide Melissa DeRosa Resigns
The mayor declined to say if top aide Melissa DeRosa should be among those targeted. DeRosa, who resigned earlier this week, was mentioned prominently in the report issued by the attorney general.
Several of the accusers are pressing lawmakers to go forward with impeachment proceedings.
Charlotte Bennett tweeted, "It's quite striking how quickly dems on the Judiciary Committee have decided not to do their job and hold Cuomo accountable by moving forward with impeachment ... We are not done yet."
The Judiciary Committee will meet Monday to consider next steps.
Kathy Hochul, who will become the state's first female governor on Aug. 24, insisted she will not tolerate bad workplace behavior in her administration.
"I want to make sure that there's a message that I'm tough. I'm not going to put up with anything that crosses the line or even comes close to the line, because this should be an environment where all people -- women, members of the LGBTQ community, anyone -- is free of harassment," Hochul said.
Based on his years of service as governor and attorney general, Cuomo is entitled to a pension of about $50,000 a year. Some lawmakers would like to pass a pension forfeiture law and have it apply retroactively, but that would require a constitutional amendment.
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