Aug 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Kathy Hochul vows to turn the page on Cuomo's "toxic work environment"

New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul during a press conference Wednesday promised to create a safe work environment when she replaces disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 13 days.

Why it matters: Hochul said no executive chamber member implicated in Cuomo's alleged efforts to retaliate against women who accused him of sexual harassment will remain in her administration.

What they're saying: "No one who is named as doing anything unethical in the report will remain in my administration," Hochul said.

  • "Oh, there'll be turnover. There'll be turnover," she added. "I want to stand right here: at the end of my term, whenever it ends, no one will ever describe my administration as a toxic work environment."

Between the lines: Hochul, who is set to become New York's first female governor, distanced herself from Cuomo but stressed a continuity of several of his administration's policies, such as its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • "I think it's been clear that the governor and I have not been close, physically or otherwise," Hochul said.
  • She did not say whether she believes the New York Assembly should continue its impeachment investigation into Cuomo, saying the governor should not dictate how the other branches operate.

The big picture: Hochul said she has spoken to several prominent former and current New York political figures, such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

  • She noted that President Biden attempted to contact her Wednesday but that she was on a flight and could not take the call.

What's next: Hochul said a new lieutenant governor will be announced in the next two weeks.

  • "I'm going to name someone that I believe the state will be familiar with and very proud of," she said.

Go deeper: Kathy Hochul to become New York's first female governor

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