By MARINA VILLENEUVE, Related Press
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 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 quite 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.
The change in management was occurring within the aftermath of Tropical Storm Henri, which narrowly missed Lengthy Island on Sunday however was dumping probably harmful quantities of rain over components 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 significantly with the identical mixture of scolding and reassurance that after made his each day COVID-19 briefings widespread.
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 stated there could be no change in his plans. “My closing day is tomorrow,” he stated 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. Colleges 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 impartial investigation overseen by state Legal professional Common Letitia James concluded there was credible proof he’d sexually harassed at the very least 11 ladies, together with an aide who stated he groped her breast and has since filed a grievance with the Albany County Sheriff’s Workplace.
Investigators additionally stated Cuomo’s senior workers retaliated towards at the very least a type 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 stated he wouldn’t pressure 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 received assist from state workers in writing a pandemic guide that will internet him $5 million.
Cuomo has provided few hints about his plans or the place he’ll stay after leaving the Government Mansion. He advised New York journal in a latest 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.
Hochul might want to rapidly construct her personal crew of advisers who can assist steer the administration for at the very 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 stated she won’t hold anybody discovered to have behaved unethically. Not less than 35 workers within the governor’s workplace have left since February, in line with workers rosters.
Hochul, who stated she didn’t work carefully with Cuomo and wasn’t conscious of the harassment allegations earlier than they turned public, has vowed nobody will ever name her office “poisonous.”
“I’ve a special method to governing,” Hochul stated Wednesday in Queens, including, “I get the job completed as a result of I don’t have time for distractions, notably coming into this place.”
Hochul has already stated she plans to run for a full four-year time period subsequent yr.
She’ll accomplish that because the state Democratic Occasion 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 predicted to choose a left-leaning state lawmaker from New York Metropolis as her lieutenant governor.
State Democratic Occasion Chair Jay Jacobs praised Hochul as “formidable.”
“She’s very skilled and I feel she’ll be a refreshing and thrilling new governor,” he stated.
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