Hochul vows zero tolerance approach to end Albany’s ‘legacy of sleaze’


Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is set to replace scandal-scarred Gov. Andrew Cuomo later this month, predicted Sunday that “it won’t be difficult” for her to end Albany’s “legacy of sleaze.”

“Everyone who’s known me in my over 27 years of elected office knows that I have very high ethical standards, and I will go in there and literally say, ‘It’s a whole new day, zero tolerance,’ ” Hochul said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I’m going to be very firm in my expectations and how my administration conducts themselves throughout the entire work force,” she said.

“It won’t be difficult for me,” Hochul said when host Jake Tapper asked if she can promise New Yorkers that she will bring an end to Albany’s “legacy of sleaze.”

The culture change would begin “on Day One,” Hochul vowed.

“I don’t think it’s going to take a lot for that tone to change on Day One, and I’m excited about that,” she said.

Cuomo last week announced he’d step down in 14 days amid a slew of sexual-harassment allegations documented by state Attorney General Letitia James.

Lt. Gov. Hochul said in an interview that the culture change will begin “Day One.”
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Hochul confirmed Sunday that when she takes over his post and has to pick someone to replace her as lieutenant governor, she will choose a person from the Big Apple.

“I’ve narrowed it down in terms of the geographic area of the state to New York City, because I am out here,” the Buffalo native said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” when asked if she decided on her successor.

“Even though I’ve spent thousands of hours in New York City, I’m familiar with the challenges, but I want someone who lives there, and [I] want someone who understands the challenges first-hand,” Hochul said. “So I’ll have a very diverse administration.”

Hochul’s choice will be announced “shortly after” she’s sworn in as governor, she said.

Lt. Gov. Hochul with Gov. Cuomo after he was re-elected in 2018.
Lt. Gov. Hochul with Gov. Cuomo after he was re-elected in 2018.
REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/File Photo

The Post reported Saturday that the governor-in-waiting is eyeing a pair of state lawmakers representing parts of the five boroughs to fill her current position. State Sens. Jamaal Bailey from The Bronx and Brian Benjamin of Harlem in Manhattan are being vetted, sources previously told The Post.

“She wants a downstate ally,” an insider said.

“She’s trying to map her political future. She intends and desires to be governor and is trying to determine what makes the most sense in choosing a lieutenant governor to combat a primary.”

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