As Cuomo Exits, Hochul To Take Office Minus ‘Distractions’

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Andrew Cuomo neared the tip of his decade as New York’s governor Monday, as he ready to relinquish his tight grip on authorities to Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul in a midnight energy switch that can break one other glass ceiling for ladies in state politics.

Cuomo, a Democrat, was set to finish his time period at 11:59 p.m., just below two weeks after he introduced he would resign relatively than face a probable impeachment battle over sexual harassment allegations.

Hochul was scheduled to be sworn in as New York’s first feminine governor simply after midnight in a quick, personal ceremony overseen by the state’s chief choose, Janet DiFiore.

The change in management was taking place within the aftermath of Tropical Storm Henri, which narrowly missed Lengthy Island on Sunday however was dumping probably harmful quantities of rain over elements of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River Valley, even after it was downgraded to a tropical despair.

The storm drew Cuomo again out into public view over the weekend, albeit briefly. He gave two televised briefings — warning New Yorkers to take the storm severely with the identical mixture of scolding and reassurance that after made his day by day COVID-19 briefings fashionable.

Maybe if the storm had been catastrophic Cuomo might need been tempted to place off his resignation. However because the potential for hazard diminished, he mentioned there could be no change in his plans. “My closing day is tomorrow,” he mentioned Sunday.

Hochul, additionally a Democrat, will inherit immense challenges as she takes over an administration dealing with criticism for inaction in Cuomo’s distracted closing months in workplace.

COVID-19 has refused to abate. Faculties are set to reopen within the coming weeks, with massive choices to be made about whether or not to require masks for college students or vaccination for academics. The state’s financial restoration from the pandemic continues to be incomplete.

Cuomo’s resignation comes after an unbiased investigation overseen by state Lawyer Normal Letitia James concluded there was credible proof he’d sexually harassed at the least 11 ladies, together with an aide who mentioned he groped her breast and has since filed a grievance with the Albany County Sheriff’s Workplace.

Investigators additionally mentioned Cuomo’s senior workers retaliated in opposition to at the least a kind of ladies and labored to undermine the credibility of others.

Cuomo insists he didn’t contact anybody inappropriately and known as the allegations “unfair” and “untruthful,” however mentioned he wouldn’t drive the state to endure an impeachment trial he couldn’t win.

Individually, Cuomo was dealing with a legislative investigation into whether or not he misled the general public about COVD-19 deaths in nursing houses to guard his popularity as a pandemic chief and improperly received assist from state workers in writing a pandemic ebook which will web him $5 million.

Cuomo has supplied few hints about his plans or the place he’ll dwell after leaving the Government Mansion. He instructed New York journal in a current interview that he’s “not disappearing.”

In his resignation speech Aug. 10 he spoke with satisfaction about his file of legalizing same-sex marriage, increasing paid household depart and boosting the statewide minimal wage to $15.

Hochul might want to rapidly construct her personal staff of advisers who might help steer the administration for at the least the following 16 months.

She plans to maintain on Cuomo-era workers for 45 days to permit her time to interview new hires, however mentioned she won’t hold anybody discovered to have behaved unethically. No less than 35 workers within the governor’s workplace have left since February, in response to workers rosters.

Hochul, who mentioned she didn’t work intently with Cuomo and wasn’t conscious of the harassment allegations earlier than they grew to become public, has vowed nobody will ever name her office “poisonous.”

“I’ve a unique strategy to governing,” Hochul mentioned Wednesday in Queens, including, “I get the job achieved as a result of I don’t have time for distractions, notably coming into this place.”

Hochul has already mentioned she plans to run for a full four-year time period subsequent 12 months.

She’ll accomplish that because the state Democratic Celebration grapples with an inner battle between average and liberal New Yorkers.

Hochul, who as soon as represented a conservative Western New York district in Congress for a 12 months and has a popularity as a average, is anticipated to select a left-leaning state lawmaker from New York Metropolis as her lieutenant governor.

State Democratic Celebration Chair Jay Jacobs praised Hochul as “formidable.”

“She’s very skilled and I feel she’ll be a refreshing and thrilling new governor,” he mentioned.



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