Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces inquiries into his administration’s handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic and into sexual harassment allegations.
When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo came under fire just a few weeks ago over his handling of nursing home deaths in the pandemic, he and his top advisers followed their usual playbook to stem the fallout: They worked the phones, pressing his case in private calls to legislators and other New York Democrats.
Then came a crisis that Mr. Cuomo’s blend of threats, flattery and browbeating could not mitigate. As three women stepped forward with claims of sexual harassment and other unwanted advances by Mr. Cuomo, the most visible governor in America effectively went dark.
After one of the women detailed her accusations against the governor in a Medium post, State Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, decided that she would come out with a statement calling for an independent investigation — an implicit rebuke of Mr. Cuomo. She reached out to the governor’s team to alert them, aware of the typical angry response.
“None of my colleagues have said they have heard from the governor on this,” Ms. Krueger said of the harassment accusations.
At the greatest moment of political peril for Mr. Cuomo in his decade in power, Mr. Cuomo faces a federal inquiry into his administration’s handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic and an independent investigation into the harassment allegations, making his political path forward more challenging by the day.
On Friday, the State Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats, passed legislation to significantly curtail Mr. Cuomo’s vast emergency powers. When the governor appeared to suggest that he had played a role in the bill’s formulation, Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, immediately shot that down, pointedly saying in a statement that “we did not negotiate this bill with the governor
Other lawmakers on Friday escalated their calls to reprimand the governor, demanding investigations, impeachment proceedings and even resignations.
“If true, everyone involved in lying to the public and to the Legislature must resign immediately,” said State Senator Rachel May, a Democrat from Syracuse. “And that includes the governor.”
It is an extraordinary turnaround for the man who was former President Donald J. Trump’s most prominent foil in the early months of the pandemic and whose power in New York appeared nearly unassailable as 2021 began.