Zephyr Teachout on the Ethical Challenges of Governor Hochul
One of the most memorable moments in Kathy Hochul’s brief swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday was the look of utter adoration in her husband’s eyes as she took the oath.
William Hochul is the former United States Attorney for the Western District of New York. But it is his current position that has caught the interest of advocates of good government.
The state’s new first husband works as the senior vice president and general counsel for Delaware North.
According to the company’s website, “Delaware North operates and delivers food and beverage concessions, upscale dining, entertainment, accommodation, and retail in many major venues and special locations. These include sports stadiums, entertainment complexes, national and state parks, airports and casinos. “
Based on this description, it is possible that the company will have multiple cases before the state at any given time – which is a problem, according to ethics expert, former gubernatorial candidate and Fordham law professor. , Zephyr Teachout.
“The problem is that pretty much everything she does will be related to her job, so the best thing is that he doesn’t continue in that job,” Teachout said. Capital tonight. “But the second best is a complete recusal by the governor’s office on anything to do with its business.”
Which means, Teachout said, that Hochul will have to delegate that authority to his yet to be appointed lieutenant governor.
According to Teachout, there are several other issues the new governor could immediately address that would have a big impact on Albany’s ethical culture.
“Right now she can make sure that, for example, Freedom of Information Act requests are dealt with, and she mentioned that in her speech today, but the proof will be in the pudding,” he said. declared Teachout.
It could also allow agency heads to do their job. In other words, Teachout explains, she can respect their authority, which Andrew Cuomo did not.
“One of the things we saw with Andrew Cuomo time and time again is that he would keep control so tightly to himself, that the agencies couldn’t function as independent agencies, but they were an extension of his arm. politics, ”Teachout explained. “It’s a culture change.