ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former lieutenant governor, and current Rochester Chamber of Commerce CEO and President, Bob Duffy, addressed the media Tuesday regarding the governor’s resignation.
“It is a belief — leadership is about taking responsibility for one’s actions and I agree with the Gov. Cuomo’s decision to resign,” Duffy said. “It is a personal decision, and one that he made, and I agree with that. I do think resignation will hopefully prevent any further trauma to the women who came forward; I think they’ve had enough up to this point, and I hope this would prevent that from happening.”
Duffy released the following statement on Cuomo’s resignation Tuesday afternoon:
“An expectation of leadership is to take responsibility for one’s actions. Resignation is a personal decision, and I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to resign. This decision will hopefully prevent further trauma for the courageous women who came forward and it allows State government to get on with the business of serving New Yorkers.
I offer my full support to incoming Governor Kathy Hochul. Kathy is a friend, a colleague, and a remarkable representative of the people of the State of New York. She will serve in the same way she has for her entire career in public service: with honor, tenacity, compassion, and dignity.”
The governor has denied that he ever touched anyone inappropriately, but said Tuesday he didn’t want to distract the state government from conducting its business during such a pivotal time, and subsequently succumbed to the mounting calls for his resignation — from federal, state, and local officials on both sides of the aisle.
“There were two paths forward: Resignation or impeachment,” Duffy said. “Given what he did today, and it was a good thing, a very good thing for New York, and yes on one hand there was saving money, but it will also tamper down the attention and frenzy going on. While there will still be court cases going on, we can get back to things New York is facing.”
Duffy, who only served as lieutanant governor for one term under Cuomo, said he was treated fairly when he served as a state official.
“I was treated extremely well during my four years with the governor and it was my decision to serve one term and one term online,” Duffy said.
The governor’s resignation will take effect in 14 days, and then Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be sworn in to be come the first female governor in New York state’s history.
“I full support the incoming governor, Kathy Hochul,” Duffy said. “I’ve known her for many, many years. She is a friend, a colleague, and someone I have great respect for. We are looking forward to a new day here and I’m proud of the fact that she’s been on the ground in her career. She comes from local government, she’s severed as lieutenant governor for the last seven years and I do believe her experience on the ground, and her connections to many different areas around the state, is important as she moves forward.
“I’m also very proud that the incoming governor is from Upstate,” Duffy said. “I think that will serve her very well with her experience Downstate, but growing up in Buffalo.”
Per the New York State Constitution, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be sworn in to succeed Cuomo and will serve the rest of his term, through December 31, 2022.
“Kathy is a friend, and being the first woman governor is a huge milestone for the state and send a good message,” Duffy said. “She is very people oriented and understand what people on the ground need. Being lieutenant governor, you go from being on the sidelines to now the CEO and Kathy will step in, and to my sense, she is stepping up right now with the commissions and various agencies, and it’s a huge business to run the state of New York.”
A statement from Hochul Tuesday:
“I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down. It is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers.
As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor.“
Cuomo, 63, was first elected as the 56th governor of New York in 2010 and is currently in his third term. Last year the governor received an International Emmy award for his once-daily televised briefings on the coronavirus pandemic that killed tens of thousands of New Yorkers this spring.
Gov. Cuomo is not the first governor of New York to resign. There have been eight governors of New York who resigned; six who resigned to take another office and two who resigned following allegations of misconduct.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.