Incoming governor Kathy Hochul plans to keep a majority of the current administration’s staff, since they will “need all hands on deck” when the lieutenant governor replaces disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned effective this Tuesday.
Hochul’s chief of staff, Jeff Lewis, sent an Aug. 16 email to inform Executive Chamber personnel that he’d be meeting individually with each staffer in the coming weeks to gauge their interest in serving under the next governor.
“We will need all hands on deck to refocus our efforts in helping move the Chamber forward and will be asking the vast majority of you to stay on through the next Administration,” reads the email obtained by The Post.
“To that end, the Lt. Governor has asked me to set up time over the next few weeks to meet with you all one on one, both in NYC and Albany, to discuss your current role and if staying on and working on our team may be of interest to you.”
He also requested that, if they’re certain they want to leave state government, they inform Hochul’s team in short order so they can move forward with the transition process.
“For those who may want to move on from State service, please know we will not be offended – but if you can flag your intentions sooner than later should that be the case, it would be helpful for us all in planning our next steps,” Lewis wrote in the email.
Lewis — who has worked under Hochul since 2015, according to his LinkedIn — pledged that the new boss will create a “inclusive, safe, and supportive culture” in the office, after the state attorney general probe documented Cuomo’s “toxic” work environment.
“I want to assure you that we will do everything we can to ensure an inclusive, safe, and supportive culture for everyone throughout our State Government,” he wrote. “Lieutenant Governor Hochul knows that we have a responsibility to the people we serve and should hold ourselves to the highest level of integrity every single day, and she would never ask this of you without leading by example from the top.”
Several staffers have recently told The Post they currently feel uncertain of their future in the administration.
Cuomo’s delayed resignation will be effective 11:59 p.m. on Monday, and Hochul will be sworn in at midnight on Tuesday in a private ceremony attended by her family, according to sources. She is expected to hold her inauguration on Tuesday during the day, and it will likely be held in Albany, sources told The Post.
Though Hochul has vowed to clean house of administration officials implicated in AG Letitia James investigation and repeatedly distanced herself from the scandal-scarred governor, Hochul recently said she plans to keep some of his commissioners for at least 45 days.
“What I will do is put together an administration that has some continuity because we are in a crisis situation,” Hochul told Buffalo News.
“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.”
Additionally, she said will announce her pick for lieutenant governor — who she confirmed Sunday will be someone who lives in New York City — “shortly after” assuming the role of governor. Among those Hochul is considering for her current post are Sen. Jamaal Bailey and Michael Blake, The Post previously reported.
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