Former Gov. David Paterson, D-N.Y., said he was “suspicious” of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., needing 14 days to officially leave office after his resignation announcement.
“It was just a little puzzling that they wanted to have that amount of time,” Paterson said during an interview on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show.
“And what they’re going to do with that time, it’s suspicious — I’ll put it that way.”
Cuomo, 63, announced Tuesday that he would resign rather than face a likely impeachment trial after Attorney General Letitia James released a report concluding he sexually harassed 11 women and created a toxic work environment.
Paterson became governor in March 2008 when Gov. Eliot Spitzer, D-N.Y., resigned amid a sex scandal.
Paterson said he requested from Spitzer a five-day transition period in order to prepare for his own inauguration. He added that Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., who will replace Cuomo, likely doesn’t need much, if any time, for the transition.
“I think in the case of Lt. Gov. Hochul, she has been aware that this situation could occur since March — since the investigation began. So, I think as she was sort of hinting yesterday, she’s ready to take over right now,” Paterson said.
“I just think the governor has just not resolved in his mind what’s actually going on yet and his self-awareness just does not seem to be particularly helpful to him at this particular time.”
Paterson, who said Cuomo was “someone I would never trust,” said it would be in the state’s best interest for Hochul to start ASAP.
“When you make these types of decisions, for the good of the state, you want to let governor-in-waiting Hochul start as soon as she’s ready — or says she’s ready,” said Paterson, who was suceeded by Cuomo in 2011.
Paterson advised Hochul to be cautious during the next two weeks.
“There were not many things that I did in those five days that were helping me become governor,” he said. “What I was doing in those five days is staving off these ridiculous situations that were coming my way.”
“It’s not something we expected or asked for, but I’m fully prepared to assume the responsibilities as the 57th governor of the state of New York,” Hochul told reporters in Albany on Wednesday.
She also said she would use the transition period to develop her administration’s vision, build her senior staff and meet with current and potential cabinet officials.