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 may 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 reasonably than face a possible impeachment battle over sexual harassment allegations.
Hochul was scheduled be sworn in as New York’s first feminine governor simply after midnight in a quick, non-public ceremony overseen by the state’s chief choose, Janet DiFiore.
Cuomo deliberate to make a public handle at midday, his workers mentioned. It wasn’t clear whether or not it might be reside or recorded.
The change in management was taking place within the aftermath of Tropical Storm Henri, which narrowly missed Lengthy Island on Sunday however was dumping rain over components of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River Valley, even after it was downgraded to a tropical melancholy.
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 each day COVID-19 briefings fashionable.
Maybe if the storm had been catastrophic Cuomo may 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.
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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 huge selections 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 girls, 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 type of girls 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 properties to guard his fame as a pandemic chief and improperly obtained assist from state staff in writing a pandemic ebook that will internet him $5 million.
Cuomo has supplied few hints about his plans or the place he’ll reside after leaving the Government Mansion. He advised New York journal in a current interview that he’s “not disappearing.”
In his resignation speech Aug. 10, he spoke with delight about his report of legalizing same-sex marriage, increasing paid household go away and boosting the statewide minimal wage to $15.
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Hochul might want to shortly construct her personal crew of advisers who may help steer the administration for at the least the following 16 months.
She introduced the deliberate appointments Monday of two high aides: Karen Persichilli Keogh will turn into Secretary to the Governor and Elizabeth Positive might be Hochul’s chief authorized counselor.
She plans to maintain on Cuomo-era staff for 45 days to permit her time to interview new hires, however mentioned she is not going to hold anybody discovered to have behaved unethically. Not less than 35 staff within the governor’s workplace have left since February, in line with workers rosters.
Hochul, who mentioned she didn’t work carefully 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 distinct method to governing,” Hochul mentioned Wednesday in Queens, including, “I get the job completed as a result of I don’t have time for distractions, significantly coming into this place.”
Hochul has already mentioned she plans to run for a full four-year time period subsequent yr.
She’ll achieve this because the state Democratic Get together grapples with an inside wrestle between reasonable and liberal New Yorkers.
Hochul, who as soon as represented a conservative Western New York district in Congress for a yr and has a fame as a reasonable, is anticipated to select a left-leaning state lawmaker from New York Metropolis as her lieutenant governor.
State Democratic Get together 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.
© 2021 The Canadian Press
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