When New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul takes the post of governor on Tuesday in the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation amid a sex scandal, she is bringing two women into key Cabinet positions, The New York Times reported Monday.
In a statement, Hochul said she is appointing Karen Persichilli Keogh, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s head of global philanthropy, and Elizabeth Fine, Empire State Development’s legal and general counsel, to serve in her administration.
The statement, reported by the Times, said the pair of appointments would help the state ”turn the corner on the pandemic and serve the best interests of New York, whether it’s defeating Covid, getting more people vaccinated, or strengthening our economy.”
Hochul, who will become the first female governor of the Empire State, said that she will take 45 days to evaluate which Cuomo appointees she would carry over to her administration.
Cuomo resigned two weeks ago amid a scandal involving women, some of them from his staff, who reported sexual harassment that included verbal and physical incidents by the 63-year-old governor, who is single.
According to a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James, the most egregious incidents involved alleged unwanted kissing and groping.
Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing since the allegations surfaced, but he did apologize, saying the incidents were misunderstandings that were ”generational and cultural.”
Keogh served as JP Morgan Chase’s managing director, head of New York state government relations from August 2002 to February 2010. She also worked on the 2008 presidential campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Fine served as general counsel for the New York City Council from 2006 to 2014 before taking on her role at Empire State Development, her LinkedIn profile said.
She also served as a special counsel to President Bill Clinton, and as a principal deputy assistant attorney general with the Department of Justice from 1994 to 2001.
In the Hochul administration, Keogh will serve as secretary to the governor, and Fine will serve as governor’s counsel.
Hochul has pledged to create a better work environment for women than what existed in the Cuomo administration, one where they can feel safe.
“Everyone who’s known my career, over 27 years in elected office, knows that I have very high ethical standards, and I will go in there and literally say, ‘It’s a whole new day,'” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
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