HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul is trying to build an administration in a matter of weeks. She’s vowed changes are ahead for state government. However it doesn’t appear all of those changes will be immediate.
Hochul visited the Erie County Fair in Hamburg Sunday. In response to a question about her cabinet, she indicated Andrew Cuomo’s commissioners would keep their jobs, at least temporarily, when she becomes Governor on August 24 in place of the resigning Andrew Cuomo.
“What I will do is put together an administration that has some continuity because we are in a crisis situation,” said Hochul, referring to the coronavirus pandemic. “However, I’m going to be signing an executive order to keep people in place for 45 days and continue to evaluate during that time.”
Officially, the executive order would extend all existing executive orders for 45 days, an official explained. The Hochul Administration will informally extend the employment of all personnel for 45 days as well when she takes office.
Hochul said the “best and the brightest” commissioners and public servants would stay on.
On Wednesday, Hochul warned anybody accused of any unethical activity in the report issued by New York State Attorney General Letitia James earlier this month would not have a place in her administration. That report concluded Cuomo sexually harassed women. It also says “many” current and former Executive Chamber workers claimed the work environment was toxic and emotionally abusive.
“That’s job number one, is to clean house with people who are mentioned in the report in that negative way,” Hochul said. “A number of people have left already. I’m going to continue working with the team I have as Lieutenant Governor, but (also take) advantage of those deep relationships I have with many outstanding commissioners and public servants who are part of the (Cuomo Administration).”
Hochul is also yet to announce who she will appoint as her Lieutenant Governor. The Associated Press reported Sunday state Senators Jamaal Bailey and Brian Benjamin are emerging as top contenders for that job.
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.