Incoming Governor Kathy Hochul Says No One Will Ever Describe Her Administration as 'Toxic'

Kathy Hochul pledged Wednesday to set a different tone from Andrew Cuomo's when she takes over as governor of New York.

"No one will ever describe my administration as a toxic work environment," Hochul said in her first public appearance as the soon-to-be top official in the state.

Hochul will officially become governor in 13 days when Cuomo's resignation becomes effective. She will be the first woman to hold the position in the Empire State's history and will serve out the remainder of Cuomo's term, which expires in 2023.

Cuomo praised his second-in-command as "smart and competent" in his resignation speech on Tuesday. Hochul said that she agreed with Cuomo's decision to step down.

"I spoke with Governor Cuomo yesterday, and he pledged his full support for a smooth transition. And I thanked him for his service to our state," Hochul said. "Regarding his decision to step down, I believe it is appropriate and in the best interest to the state of New York. And while it was not expected, it is a day for which I am prepared."

Hochul said she will deliver an address shortly after being appointed governor to lay out her vision and policy priorities.

"I will fight like hell for you every single day, like I've always done and always will," she said.

Cuomo's resignation came one week after New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report finding he sexually harassed multiple women in violation of state and federal laws. The report also found Cuomo created a toxic, hostile work environment for employees.

The 168-page document detailed the allegations of 11 complainants, nine of whom are current or former New York state government employees. Investigators also said Cuomo and his staff took retaliatory action against one former employee who spoke out against him.

Cuomo denied the report's findings, saying on Tuesday he believed the controversy was untruthful and politically motivated.

"In my mind, I never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn't realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn," the governor said. He also apologized to the women he "truly offended."

Cuomo added that his first instinct was to fight the allegations but said that such action would subject the state government to months of controversy. New York legislators were considering articles of impeachment against him before he announced his resignation.

"The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government. And therefore that's what I'll do, because I work for you," Cuomo said.

Hochul said Wednesday that none of the staffers identified as acting unethical in the attorney general's report will work in her administration.

"No one who was named as doing anything unethical in the report will remain in my administration," she said, promising that there "will be turnover" when she takes office.

Hochul 1st Public Appearance Incoming NY Governor
New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul addressed the public for the first time Wednesday after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation the day before. Above, Hochul speaks during a Coney Island parks reopening event on April 9 in Brooklyn. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images