New York state’s Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, due to take over as governor before the end of the month, on Sunday vowed her tenure wouldn’t be tainted by the “sleaze” of the scandal-scarred Cuomo administration.
In an interview on CNN’s "State of the Union," Hochul declared “the word sleaze has never been associated with either one of the Hochuls,” referring to her husband William Hochul, a former prosecutor who serves as a top official in Delaware North, a hospitality and gaming company.
“Everyone who has known my career over 27 years of elective office knows I have very high ethical standards,” she said. “I will go [into the governor’s job] and literally say it is a whole new day. Zero tolerance. I'm going to be very firm in my expectations on how my administration conducts themselves throughout the entire work force but also I want people to know, particularly young women like I was once, as a young intern, working in Buffalo in Democratic politics, I want them to know this is a place they're welcome.”
She said her husband’s credentials are equally strong.
“My husband was a federal prosecutor for 30 years,” she said. “So even when I was in Congress, we're well accustomed to keeping our work very separate. … no one can touch the integrity we've brought to our positions. I understand concerns and I have reached out to outside ethics experts to come up with an iron clad policy so no one will ever question there is any involvement of my husband in anything pertaining to the state of New York.”
She said she also “open” to mandating proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, calling herself “a trusted voice” in the state — but added she doesn’t have the power to mandate that teachers be vaccinated.
“I am open to all options,” she said, adding: “I want to bring the best and brightest to deal with this…. I'm going to be focused on a targeted approach within the communities where there is the greatest hesitancy… And I am a trusted voice in the state.”
“I’ll be looking at the possibility of mandates but not saying they're in or out until I know all the facts,” she said. “Also, masks for kids in schools. This is something that I believe has to occur to make sure our teachers are safe, the administrators are safe, and above all each child.”
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