Kathy Hochul, the recently appointed Governor of New York, has started purging officials and heads of agencies that Andrew Cuomo, the disgraced predecessor, had appointed. At least 9 bureaucrats have resigned already, or they have been informed that they will be losing their jobs in the coming few days.
A Brave Step From Kathy Hochul
The top of Kathy Hochul’s purge list is the former executive of Ulster County, Michael Hein. In 2019, Cuomo had given him the responsibility of overseeing the Disability and Temporary Assistance Office of the state. He was also heading Hudson Valley’s control room for the region, keeping an eye on important health metrics at the time of the tentative reopening of the state.
Recently, he was expected to look after a $2.6Bn distribution worth of federal funding to tenants, so that they could pay their utility bills and rents. However, he had been heavily criticized for not being able to do it quickly enough. On 10th August, he even admitted to never discussing the program with Cuomo.
Other officials who Kathy Hochul are expected to show the door are Jeremy Shockett (Public Safety Deputy Secretary); Norman Birenbaum (Cannabis Program Director); Debra Alligood White (Workforce and Civil Rights Deputy Secretary); Dr. Theodore Kastner (Developmental Disabilities People State Office Commissioner), and more.
Kathy Hochul’s Albany shake-up had started shortly after the appointment of Amit Singh Bagga as the intergovernmental affairs deputy secretary. Earlier in the year, Bagga has lost the election to be the 26th City Council District’s representative. It also follows the announcement of Howard Zucker, the Health Commissioner for the state, stepping down when a replacement has been located.
Critics had accused Zucker of aiding Cuomo in hiding and minimizing COVID-19’s terrible toll on the state. Kathy Hochul has described herself as the top-most recruiter in New York.