NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has less than two weeks left in office and some members of his administration could resign before then.
Top aide Melissa DeRosa resigned before Cuomo announced his decision to step down. The Attorney General report that concluded Cuomo has sexually harassed 11 women determined Cuomo wasn’t the only problem in the administration.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who’s set to take over for Cuomo, said none of those people would be allowed to stay.
“No one who is named as doing anything unethical in the attorney general’s report will remain in my administration,” she said. “At the end of my term, whenever it ends, no one will ever describe my administration as a toxic work environment.”
Gotham Gazette Editor Ben Max suggested senior Cuomo advisor Rich Azzopardi and Director of the Governor’s Offices Stephanie Benton might resign.
“They’re both named repeatedly in the attorney general’s report, and they are the type of close aides to a governor that you would expect to leave with that governor,” Max said.
A new op-ed in the Albany Times Union called for Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to lose his job. Max noted Zucker was not implicated in the attorney general’s report but that he “has been at the center of the COVID related scandals the nursing home death related scandals.”
If there is workplace harassment within the executive chamber,Hochul would have an obligation to take action, employment attorney Jon Bell explained.
“You’ve got to look at each case individually about what the employee did wrong, and you can go from retraining, a letter of reprimand,” he said. “Then the most severe penalty of course is termination.
On Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he believes Cuomo’s inner circle should be examined by state lawmakers, prosecutors and the FBI.
“I think there needs to be a full accounting,” he said.