Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!
Mayor Bill de Blasio offered that sentiment Tuesday while lambasting scandal-scarred Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reign as “aberrant” and “not normal,” as the Empire State’s outgoing chief executive is set to step down next week due to sexual harassment allegations by nearly a dozen women.
“Andrew Cuomo was really aberrant but people [had] gotten too used to it,” de Blasio told reporters at his daily press briefing, Aug. 17. “He is not normal, that’s not how most people do things, that’s not how professional people do things, to bully and harass people all day long and to spend endless hours on the phone attacking reporters, elected officials, or whatever it is.”
The mayor met Tuesday with Cuomo’s successor, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, in New York City, and prior to the sit-down, hizzoner sounded hopeful that tensions between City Hall and Albany during Cuomo’s decade-long rule will come to an end under New York’s first woman governor.
“Let’s go back to something approximating normalcy and just have elected officials work together and address the issues,” de Blasio said. “I have had a good relationship with the lieutenant governor, I’ve not spent a lot of time with her, I haven’t worked with her on a lot of substantive issues, but I’ve always found her to be an open person, you know, a decent person, thoughtful person. I’m very hopeful that she can help to really change the environment.”
De Blasio and Cuomo have publicly feuded for years, notably when they locked horns over issuing a shelter-in-place order early on in the pandemic, in the spring of 2020.
The damning probe released earlier this month found sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo by 11 women and detailed a toxic work environment in the executive chamber enabling the governor’s misconduct.
Hochul, a Buffalo native, visited the Big Apple Tuesday, Aug. 17, to meet with de Blasio and other city officials, such as Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a former political rival who ran for lieutenant governor in 2018.
Rumors are swirling about who Hochul may pick to replace her as second-in-line of the state, and she is reportedly considering two politicians from the Five Boroughs.
De Blasio said he will discuss issues such as battling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the recent surge of the Delta variant, the city’s recovery, and congestion pricing.
Cuomo’s office did not provide a comment by press time.