The new governor of New York has distanced himself from Andrew Cuomo after resigning over allegations of sexual harassment.
"I and the governor have not been close physically or in any other way," said Kathy Hochul.
She will be the first woman to take office in two weeks when the resignation of the Democratic official takes effect.
On Wednesday, the next governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, marked distance with her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, who resigned amid multiple accusations of sexual harassment. He assured that no official was involved in the "toxic" work environment that was seen during his administration would continue in the Executive.
"I think it's clear that the governor and I weren't physically or otherwise close," Hochul said in his first public appearance since Komo resigned yesterday., which will take effect in two weeks.
For now, the vice-governor said that she would work to establish her government team during that period and announced that there would be significant changes in the composition of the cabinet.
In that sense, he announced that no person named for unethical actions in the Attorney General's Office report on Cuomo's alleged cases of harassment and his attempts to cover up the complaints would not continue in the administration.
That investigation, which was the one that ended up triggering the governor's resignation, described a toxic environment in his office, with a work culture marked "by bullying, fear, and intimidation, on the one hand, and the other by normalization. of the frequent flirtation and gender-based comments the governor made. "
"At the end of my term, finish when I finish, no one will describe my administration as a toxic work environment, "Hochul guaranteed.
The lieutenant governor, who has been in office with Cuomo since 2015, assured that until the complaints were made public, she was unaware of the problems in the governor's work environment because, as she insisted, they have never been close. She has spent a large part of his time visiting different parts of the state.
Hochul assured that this would continue to be his style: traveling around the state, "listening first and taking decisive action later."
"The promise I make to all New Yorkers, here and now, is that I will fight hell for you every day," said the 62-year-old political veteran, who will become the first woman to lead state government.
Hochul made it clear that she feels fully prepared to take on her new responsibilities and is confident that the transition with the Cuomo administration will go smoothly.
Asked about the governor's future, she did not want to get involved in the decisions that the legislature or the judiciary may make and considered it premature to speak of a possible pardon.
The governor's three-term decision was announced as the legislature struggled to remove him through an impeachment process. If he had been removed from office, he would have been barred from running again.
I love New York, and I love you. Everything I've done has been motivated by love. But, under the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let the government go back to being governed. And that's what I'll do," Cuomo said in a live speech.
The announcement came after the New York attorney general released an investigation that found Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women. Investigators claimed he had given women unwanted kisses, improperly liked or touched their breasts or buttocks, made consultative comments about their appearance and sex life, and was full of fear and intimidation. Created a work environment.
The #MeToo era scandal cut short not just a career but a dynasty: Cuomo's father, Mario Cuomo, was governor in the 1980s and 1990s, and young Cuomo was often mentioned as a possible candidate for president, a position the one his father was contemplating. Even as the scandal grew, Cuomo planned to run for re-election in 2022. However, the governor still faces the possibility of criminal charges, as multiple prosecutors from across the state have come out to investigate him.
The series of accusations that led to the governor's fall began to appear in the news last December and lasted for months. Cuomo called some of the allegations false and vehemently denied touching anyone inappropriately. But he acknowledged that some participants were offended by the comments, which he said were intended to be lively, and apologized for some of their behavior. Anyway, he maintains his version of innocence.