ALBANY, N.Y.—Kathy Hochul grew to become the governor of New York on the stroke of midnight Tuesday, taking management of a state authorities determined to get again to enterprise after months of distractions over sexual harassment allegations in opposition to Andrew Cuomo.
The Democrat from western New York was sworn in as governor in a short, personal ceremony within the New York State Capitol overseen by the state’s chief decide, Janet DiFiore.
Cuomo left workplace at 12:00 a.m, two weeks after he introduced he would resign fairly than face a probable impeachment battle. He submitted his resignation letter late Monday to the leaders of the state Meeting and Senate.
On his ultimate day in workplace, Cuomo launched a pre-recorded farewell handle during which he defended his document over a decade as New York’s governor and portrayed himself because the sufferer of a “media frenzy.”
Hochul was scheduled to have a ceremonial swearing-in occasion Tuesday morning on the Capitol, with extra pomp than the temporary, legally required occasion through the night time.
She deliberate to fulfill with legislative leaders later within the morning and make a public handle at 3 p.m.
Hochul joins a majority of females now holding high positions of energy within the New York state authorities, together with state Senate Majority Chief Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Lawyer Normal Letitia James and the chief decide, DiFiore. The state Meeting is led by a person, Speaker Carl Heastie.
Hochul will inherit immense challenges as she takes over an administration dealing with criticism for inaction in Cuomo’s ultimate months.
COVID-19 has made a comeback, with new circumstances up almost 1,370 p.c since late June. Hospitalizations are climbing at the same time as faculties put together to return into session.
Massive selections lay forward on whether or not to mandate masks or vaccines for sure teams, or whether or not to reinstate social distancing restrictions if the state’s newest wave of infections worsens. Hochul has stated she favors making masks necessary for schoolchildren, a distinction with Cuomo, who stated he believes within the extra reasonable place that the governor lacks that authority.
The financial system stays unsettled. Jobs misplaced through the pandemic have been coming again, however unemployment stays double what it was two years in the past.
New York has additionally struggled to get federal aid cash into the fingers of tenants behind on their lease due to the pandemic, releasing simply 6 p.c of the budgeted $2 billion up to now. 1000’s of households face the potential for dropping their houses if the state permits eviction protections to run out.
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 very least 11 ladies.
In his farewell remarks, Cuomo struck a defiant tone, saying the lawyer normal’s report that triggered his resignation was designed to be ”a political firecracker on an explosive matter, and it did work.”
“There was a political and media stampede,” he stated.
Cuomo additionally touted himself as a bulwark in opposition to his occasion’s far-left wing, which he stated desires to defund the police and demonize companies, and boasted of constructing authorities efficient in his years in workplace. He cited his work battling the COVID-19 pandemic, legalizing same-sex marriage, and mountain climbing the minimal wage to $15.
“I attempted my finest to ship for you,” Cuomo stated.
Cuomo’s high aide, Melissa DeRosa, launched a press release saying the governor was exploring his choices for his post-gubernatorial life however had “little interest in operating for workplace once more.”
Cuomo’s resignation gained’t finish his authorized issues.
An aide who stated Cuomo groped her breast has filed a grievance with the Albany County Sheriff’s Workplace. 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 fame as a pandemic chief and improperly acquired assist from state staff in writing a e-book which will internet him $5 million.
The swap in management was occurring within the aftermath of Tropical Storm Henri, which narrowly missed Lengthy Island on Sunday however dumped rain over the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley.
Hochul might want to rapidly construct her personal workforce of advisers to steer the administration for at the very least the subsequent 16 months.
Hochul, who stated 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 distinct method to governing,” Hochul stated Wednesday in Queens, including, “I get the job accomplished as a result of I don’t have time for distractions, notably coming into this place.”
She introduced the deliberate appointments Monday of two high aides: Karen Persichilli Keogh will turn into Secretary to the Governor and Elizabeth Positive will probably 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 stated she is not going to hold anybody discovered to have behaved unethically.
Hochul, who has already stated she plans to run for a full time period subsequent yr, is predicted to choose a left-leaning New York Metropolis politician as her lieutenant governor. Hochul as soon as represented a conservative Western New York district in Congress for a yr and has a fame as a reasonable.
State Democratic Social gathering 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.
The Epoch Instances contributed to this report.