Kathy Hochul would have preferred that Andrew Cuomo’s resignation go into effect sooner than 14 days as the outgoing New York governor counts down the final two weeks in the executive mansion in Albany before officially stepping down.
Hochul held her first news conference in Albany on Wednesday – a day after the powerful governor announced he would be stepping down after a damning report by the state attorney general accused him of sexually harassing at least 11 women.
Cuomo announced his resignation would go into effect in two weeks time – while Hochul said she expected to take charge sooner.
‘It’s not what I asked for,’ the Buffalo native and former congresswoman told reporters in the state capital on Wednesday.
She quickly added: ‘However, I’m looking forward to a smooth transition which he promised.’
Rich Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Cuomo, told Fox News that the 14-day period was to ensure a transition to the next administration.
‘It’s to ensure an orderly transition at this critical time where the key decisions still remain on COVID, the Delta variant and other significant challenges facing the state,’ Azzopardi said.
New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says that she would have preferred that Andrew Cuomo’s resignation go into effect sooner than the 14 days that the alleged ‘sex pest’ announced on Tuesday
The governor (seen above after announcing his resignation in New York City on Tuesday). His daughter, Michaela, is seen trailing him
Hochul said that in her conversations with Cuomo, the outgoing governor told her that he felt it was important to ensure ‘a transition to continuity.’
‘They viewed it as necessary,’ Hochul said of Cuomo and his staff’s decision to step down in two weeks’ time.
‘I’m prepared to take office, as any lieutenant governor is, from the very first hour you are sworn in as lieutenant governor.’
Hochul said she plans to ‘take advantage of that time’ in order to ‘engage with the people of the State of New York.’
She said that at the end of the 14-day period, Hochul will once again address the state to discuss the agenda of her incoming administration.
While Cuomo’s official move-out date from the executive residence in Albany is unclear, what’s even less certain is where he will end up after that.
The outgoing governor only began living in the 165-year-old residence in 2019, following his split with longtime partner Sandra Lee.
Outgoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo was seen in Midtown Manhattan following his resignation announcement Tuesday. With his stepping down now official, it remains unclear where he will live once his tenure is up in 14 days
One thing is for certain, he will have to vacate the governor’s mansion in Albany, where he has been living since 2019 following his split from Sandra Lee
Featuring two pools, a greenhouse, tennis courts and a gym, the mansion has housed 32 governors and their families since 1874
Before that, the two shared a 4,129-square-foot colonial in Mount Kisco since moving there in 2008.
On December 23, 2020, however, she sold the home, called Lily Pond, for $1.85 million.
That would leave Cuomo technically homeless, according to available public records, the New York Post reported.
In Albany, he leaves behind a storied residence, which has housed 32 governors and their families.
Originally built by businessman Thomas Olcott in 1856, Samuel Tilden became the first governor to reside in the house in 1874, renting it for $9,000 a year.
The Italianate structure would become state property two years later, when Gov. Lucius Robinson would purchase it for $45,000, or $1.1million in today’s money, in 1877.
It has since been renovated and expanded a number of times as subsequent governors altered the residence.
Theodore Roosevelt constructed a gymnasium, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt installed a swimming pool. Nelson Rockefeller added tennis courts.
Cuomo’s own mother, Matilda, would undertake a major renovation of the property in 1983, while his father, Mario, was in office.
The residence was originally built in 1856 by businessman Thomas Olcott (pictured standing on the porch)
The home pictured in 1870 after its first major renovation. The first governor to live there would move in in 1875, and New York state would purchase the property in 1877
The mansion as seen in 1960. It has undergone major changes over subsequent gubernatorial administrations
With private funding, she restored the first and second floors of the mansion, and its pool, which had since been filled in and converted to a greenhouse.
The greenhouse, tennis courts as well as indoor and outdoor pools remain.
One possible destination for the governor might be his brother and CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s $2.9million home in the Hamptons, where he famously quarantined in his basement during the early stretch of the pandemic.
He would film segments of his show there before documenting his emergence on camera.
‘Alright here is it, the official re-entry from the basement, cleared by CDC. A little sweaty, just worked out, it happens,’ He said as he walked up the steps. ‘This is what I’ve been dreaming of, literally for weeks.’
The younger Cuomo, however, had been seen outside days before the segment, reportedly getting into a fight with a biker who had called him out for breaking quarantine.
Another possible destination would be with his 89-year-oold mother, who owns a co-op in Manhattan on Sutton Place South, which she and her late husband purchased for $595,000 in 1995.
Cuomo’s sister, Maria Cuomo-Cole along with her husband and fashion designer Kenneth Cole, have a number of holdings as well, with homes in Westchester County and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, the Post also reported.
And in 2002, economist Jeffery Sachs, reportedly let Cuomo stay at financial district rental at 1 West Street after his divorce from Kerry Kennedy.
Hochul on Wednesday delivered her first remarks since Cuomo‘s resignation announcement, distancing herself from the disgraced governor and his ‘toxic’ workplace.
Hochul’s press conference on Wednesday was her first real introduction to many New Yorkers, and she presented a tough, professional persona as she squared off with the press.
‘While it was not expected, it is a day for which I am prepared,’ said Hochul, a western New York Democrat who has held multiple offices but is unfamiliar to many voters in the state.
Hochul was quick to disavow her fellow Democrat Cuomo, who was forced to resign over sexual harassment allegations, saying she was not ‘close’ with him.
She said there would be no place in her administration for any Cuomo aides who were implicated in unethical behavior by the state attorney general’s investigation of his behavior toward women.
‘No one will ever describe my administration as a toxic work environment,’ said Hochul, who will move into the governorship when Cuomo leaves office in 13 days.
She also said she would fire any Cuomo staffer involved in the ‘unethical’ retaliation against the multiple women who accused the disgraced Democratic governor of sexual harassment.
New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul has delivered her first remarks since Andrew Cuomo’s resignation announcement, vowing that she is ready to lead the state
Governor Andrew Cuomo (center) was spotted today saying goodbye to some of his workers in his back yard. Stephanie Benton the aid to the Governor was spotted leaving the Mansion
Cuomo is seen on Tuesday preparing to depart by helicopter after announcing his resignation
Asked if she was considering a statewide mask mandate as the state experiences a surge of new coronavirus cases, Hochul replied: ‘All options are on the table.’
Hochul’s presser marked a stark departure in style from Cuomo, who seemed to relish presiding over a shouting press corps, mocking them at times before selecting one of the screamed questions to answer.
Instead, Hochul proceeded down an orderly list of reporters to call on, starting out with a representative of her hometown newspaper in Buffalo.
At one point, she put her hands up to quiet the ballyhoo of shouted questions, saying ‘this isn’t going to work’ before calling on the next reporter on her list.
Hochul’s friends and prior colleagues have described her as hands-on, open-minded and professional, with a special passion for environmental issues and combating domestic violence.
With just 16 months left in the term, Hochul will soon face the decision of whether to run in the November 2022 election to secure a four more years at the helm of New York, the fourth most populous US state.
Hochul, 62, is set to become the state’s first female governor in two weeks, following a remarkable transition period in which Cuomo has said he will work to ease her into a job that he dominated over his three terms in office.
Hochul’s presser marked a stark departure in style from Cuomo, who preferred the chaos of a shouting press corps, and she proceeded orderly down a list of reporters to take questions
At one point, she put her hands up to quiet the ballyhoo of shouted questions, saying ‘this isn’t going to work’ before calling on the next reporter on her list
Cuomo, 63, announced Tuesday that he would quit down rather than face a likely impeachment trial after state Attorney General Letitia James released a report concluding he sexually harassed 11 women, including one who accused him of groping her breast.
Cuomo denies that he touched anyone inappropriately and said his instinct was to fight back against claims he felt were unfair or fabricated.
But he said that with the state still in a pandemic crisis, it was best for him to step aside so the state´s leaders could ‘get back to governing.’
That job will fall to Hochul, who served briefly in Congress representing a Buffalo-area district, but purposely kept a modest profile as lieutenant governor in a state where Cuomo commanded – and demanded – the spotlight.
A seasoned veteran of retail politics, Hochul shares some of Cuomo’s centrist politics, but is a stylistic contrast with a governor famous for his love of steamrolling opponents and holding grudges.
She’s well-liked by colleagues, who say voters shouldn’t confuse her quiet approach under Cuomo with a lack of confidence or competence.
Hochul’s press conference on Wednesday was the her first introduction to many New Yorkers, and she presented a tough, professional persona
Democratic New York Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer (together above last week) have both expressed confidence in Hochul’s abilities to lead
‘Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be an extraordinary governor,’ Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, another upstate political veteran, told reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. ‘She understands the complexities and needs of our state.’
It remains to be seen how involved Cuomo will be in state government over the next two weeks, or how he’ll manage handing over authority – something he rarely ceded during his time in office.
His circle of advisers has shrunk, but his closest aide and policymaking partner Melissa DeRosa – who was a familiar face at Cuomo’s side during his televised briefings on New York´s fight against the coronavirus pandemic – made a surprise return after having announced her resignation from the administration Sunday.
The governor’s office said she will remain in her job as secretary to the governor until Cuomo departs.
For days after James’ report came out last week, Cuomo insisted to those close to him that he could weather the storm, but even his closest outside advisers told him it would be impossible.
Cuomo was privately frustrated that few people were willing to say anything to defend him publicly and pressed his attorney and his remaining advisers to question the credibility of his accusers, a person with direct knowledge of the governor’s final days in office told the AP.
A plane flies over Albany on Wednesday mocking Cuomo with a banner reading ‘Goodbye governor bad touch! Your friend Brian’
Cuomo decided he would resign after DeRosa quit and began drafting remarks for a resignation address, the person said.
By late Monday night, Cuomo told a small number of his closest advisers that he was planning to resign, the person said. But Cuomo had kept the announcement very close, opting to not even tell other senior Democrats in New York.
The governor personally crafted messaging to hit back at the attorney general´s report and had a hand in shaping some of the wording that his attorney, Rita Glavin, delivered in a virtual press briefing before he resigned, the person said.
Leaders in the state legislature have yet to say whether they plan on dropping an impeachment investigation that has been ongoing since March, and which had been expected to conclude in the coming weeks.
In addition to examining his conduct with women, lawyers hired by the state Assembly had been investigating whether the administration’ manipulated data on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes and whether Cuomo improperly got help from his staff writing a book about the pandemic.
Republicans have urged the Democratic-controlled legislature to go ahead with impeachment, to prevent Cuomo from running for office again and strip him of his pension.