Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul is expected to be sworn in as governor of New York early Tuesday, which will be followed by a meeting with state legislative leaders and a televised address to New Yorkers later that day. Her swearing in ceremony will come exactly two minutes after Governor Andrew Cuomo leaves office at 11:59 p.m. Monday following a report outlining accusations of sexual misconduct.
Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, will formally swear in Hochul at 12:01 a.m. in an official private ceremony in the State Capitol Building, according a schedule released by Hochul’s staff on Friday. A ceremonial swearing-in event takes place that same day at 10 a.m. in the same building, in which Hochul’s family will be present along with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Hochul is expected to privately meet with Heastie and Stewart-Cousins immediately following the event.
Hochul will address New Yorkers from the State Capitol Red Room in a televised address at 3:30 p.m. that day, capping her official first day as the state’s 57th governor. Cuomo, who announced on August 10th that he planned to resign in two weeks, has been seen with moving trucks outside of the Executive Mansion over the last several days.
Even before she officially takes over, Hochul was briefed by the White House on Saturday on the federa response to Hurricane Henri, which is expected to make landfall on Sunday in New York and impact the region over several days. She had already began making the rounds ahead of her swearing in, meeting this week with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and congressional leaders.
Cuomo, in his waning days as governor, asserted he remained the point person on the state’s hurricane response for now, holding a news conference on Saturday to discuss the state’s preparations. He also declared a state of emergency for parts of the state, including New York City and Long Island.
At a news conference discussing preparations, Cuomo remained defiant in answering a reporter’s question about the investigation by New York State Attorney General Letitia James that corroborated reports he sexually harassed or groped 11 women while in office.
“If you think justice is to accept a complaint from a person without investigation and without credibility determinations, and without looking at past actions of that person, then you don’t know what the justice system is,” Cuomo said in response to a reporter’s question. “You’re never in a situation where you just reiterate complaints. Justice is, ‘I hear the complaint. And we welcome everyone to come forward. And that takes courage, and that takes bravery.’ But we need to know the facts.”
Hochul will serve out Cuomo’s remaining 16 months in office. She’s already announced plans to run for governor next year.