New York’s new governor won’t clean house completely.
Hochul — who also said she’ll oust staffers implicated in Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandal — will keep some of his commissioners for at least 45 days, she said at a press conference at the Erie County Fair.
“What I will do is put together an administration that has some continuity because we are in a crisis situation,” Hochul told Buffalo News, 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.”
She added, “I was very clear in my first remarks following Gov. Cuomo’s decision to resign from his position that I will not keep anyone who was charged with unethical behavior who was listed in [the AG’s] report,” she said. “So that’s job number one, is to clean house of people who were mentioned in that report in that way.”
But at least one commissioner she plans to keep was involved in ethically dubious behavior during Cuomo’s reign, sources said.
Hochul asked Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to stay on during a meeting about the pandemic Thursday, sources told The Post— even though he’s embroiled in a scandal over nursing home fatalities and allegedly covering up death data.
“Anyone involved in covering up the Governor’s behavior, or responsible for fudging nursing home data, or who engaged in retaliation against the women who spoke up should have no place in government. Kathy Hochul will have to make those decisions,” Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) told The Post last week.
During the press conference Sunday, Hochul said she plans to retain some Cuomo commissioners because she has good working relationships with them.
“A number of people have left already, and I will continue working with the team I have as lieutenant governor in taking advantage of those deep relationships I have with many outstanding commissioners and public servants that are part of the administration and to give them the freedom to go forth and make smart decisions for the people of New York,” she said.
Earlier this month, she vowed to end Albany’s “legacy of sleaze” — saying, “I will go in there and literally say, ‘It’s a whole new day, zero tolerance.’”