Top aides to disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo informed then-Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul that she can be off the ticket come 2022 as Cuomo made plans to vie for a fourth time period — earlier than his political profession was undone by an epic intercourse harassment scandal.
Cuomo had already tried to dump Hochul as soon as earlier than as a result of he believed in 2018 the veteran western New York politician couldn’t shore up his standing with left-wing Democrats who have been gaining affect in New York City politics.
“It was like their mindset in 2018, they were thinking “we have progressive issues, we need someone downstate who has a relationship with the minority community, but who cares,” stated an individual conversant in the alternate.
“There was no relationship,” the particular person added, between Cuomo and Hochul.
It got here as a part of a longstanding effort by the governor and his aides to maintain the Buffalo-area Democrat out of the highlight.
“There was a concerted effort to sideline her as much as possible,” added a former Cuomo insider, who stated the governor’s aides went to nice pains to sideline Hochul and decrease her profile as a lot as attainable. “It was true before and during the pandemic.”
A 3rd supply, conversant in Cuomo’s considering, stated that “there was a concern about diversity on the ticket.”
“We wanted to ensure, going forward, the ticket more accurately reflected the diversity of the state,” the supply added.
Hochul acquired the telephone name in late January, three sources confirmed to The Post.
It got here simply days earlier than Attorney General Letitia James launched her bombshell report on the then-governor’s dealing with of information about nursing house deaths in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
James’ investigation revealed that the selective tallies launched by Cuomo’s Department of Health doubtless understated the variety of fatalities by roughly 50 %, the primary in a collection of dominoes that will fall, leaving him badly broken politically.
Infuriated lawmakers hauled in Cuomo’s prime aides to clarify, resulting in a closed-door assembly the place former prime aide Melissa DeRosa was caught on tape admitting the Cuomo administration “froze” over releasing the information.
That recording was obtained by The Post, which uncovered the tried coverup.
That, in flip, caught the curiosity of federal investigators in Brooklyn, who’re probing allegations the Cuomo administration misled federal officers in Washington.
It additionally affirmed longstanding complaints from the press and good authorities teams that Cuomo and his aides had been violating the state’s Freedom of Information Law.
As the nursing house fiasco returned to the general public eye, two different scandals erupted that imperiled his three-term maintain on the governor’s workplace.
Cuomo confronted allegations that he misused state assets for his pandemic memoir, which he was paid $5 million to jot down — and that his workers manipulated studies to understate the demise toll as he scored the large advance.
On prime of that, practically a dozen girls — together with a number of present and former state workers — got here ahead with allegations that Cuomo both sexually harassed or groped them, fees that have been affirmed by a state Attorney General report.
The trio of scandals pressured Cuomo’s Democratic allies within the state Assembly to maneuver forward with impeachment proceedings, which he initially vowed to combat earlier than finally resigning in August.
Hochul’s workplace declined repeated requests to remark as did a Cuomo spokesman.