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Politics and Government

New York's new governor, Kathy Hochul, taking office Aug. 24

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Mike Groll
/
NYS Executive Chamber

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s first female governor, Kathy Hochul, is set to take office on Tuesday, Aug. 24, at the stroke of midnight.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation from office will be effective at 11:59 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23, Hochul’s office said Tuesday.

Details of how the power transfer will take place weren’t immediately available, but Hochul, now the state’s lieutenant governor, is expected to make a public address sometime Tuesday, according to a spokesperson, Haley Viccaro.

Cuomo had announced Aug. 10 that he would resign from office in 14 days, but didn’t specify exactly when he would step down.

Cuomo is quitting amid a collapse of support from even his most loyal political allies following the release of a report overseen by State Attorney General Letitia James that found the governor had sexually harassed at least 11 women.

The governor denied that he touched anyone inappropriately and said some of his comments to women had been misunderstood, but said he believed it would hurt the state if he continued to fight to stay in office.

Cuomo filed retirement papers Tuesday, with his retirement effective Sept. 1. It’s unclear how much his pension will be — he has 14.56 years of service credit, according to the state Comptroller’s office.

A strong majority in the state Assembly had said they would impeach Cuomo if he didn’t step down.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said last week that he was dropping the impeachment drive, but on Monday, facing a bipartisan backlash, he said the body’s Judiciary Committee would still finish its investigation into Cuomo’s conduct and issue a public report.

In addition to investigating the harassment allegations, lawyers hired by the Assembly have been looking into the Cuomo administration’s handling of COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes and his use of state resources for his $5 million pandemic book deal.

Evidence gathered during the investigation is being made available to committee members, but under tight security.

Assemblymember Marjorie Byrnes, a Republican on the committee, said Tuesday that she and other committee members are poring over the documents “in a room that is being guarded by the sergeant of arms.”

“If this material is never released to the public, then the people of this state and in my district are never going to know the truth,” she said.

Hochul, a Democrat, spent Tuesday taking meetings in New York City to narrow down her selection for her successor as lieutenant governor.

She’s vowed to depart from the Cuomo administration’s reputation as a “toxic” work environment, and focus on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns over NY’s eviction protection for renters.