NEW YORK - Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday bowed to mounting pressure and announced that he will resign from office. But not for two weeks.
"This transition must be seamless," Cuomo said in his resignation news conference, Tuesday. And on that, the exiting governor, the governor-in-waiting, the state legislature, legal minds, and watchdog groups agree.
"I'm looking forward to a smooth transition," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a news conference Wednesday.
But where those other parties, apparently unanimously, question Cuomo's exit strategy is in how long it ought to take to achieve that seamless transition.
"My resignation will be effective in 14 days," Cuomo said, Tuesday.
"It's not what I asked for," Hochul said, Wednesday.
"I was a little taken aback that he said his resignation was effective in 14 days," former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said on his podcast, Stay Tuned with Preet, Tuesday. Bharara struggled to find a legitimate justification for Cuomo's two-week exit.
"It may be overly cynical but I believe that Andrew Cuomo is a person of mischief," Bharara said on his podcast.
"Absolutely," Common Cause New York Executive Director Susan Lerner said, "and I am concerned. What does he plan to do?"
Lerner thought the longer Cuomo stayed the less it helped to facilitate the transition and the more it complicated it.
"When Governor Spitzer resigned, he was out in five days," she said.
"While I understand in his mind it makes sense, I don't see the need," New York Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz said.
Cruz argued it's Cuomo's staff and not the governor himself most needed to transfer power from one regime to the next.
"I don't know why she couldn't take office tomorrow," Bharara said on his podcast.
"I'm prepared to take office," Hochul said, "as any lieutenant governor is from the very first hour you're sworn in as lieutenant governor."
"I hope there's nothing nefarious but it strikes me as too long a period," Bharara said. "You don't need to give two weeks' notice to resign as governor."
In a statement to FOX 5 NY, Rich Azzopardi, the governor's communications director and senior advisor, wrote of the 14-day window: "It's to ensure an orderly transition at this critical time where key decisions still remain on COVID-19, the Delta variant and other significant challenges facing the state."
"Well, we'll be watching very closely," Lerner said.