Hochul says Thruway officials no longer employed; optimistic on passage of ethics reforms

Feb 5, 2015

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul at the Finishing Trades Institute of Western New York
Credit Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says there is no tolerance for anyone who doesn’t follow Governor Andrew Cuomo’s high code of ethics, and that includes officials at the State Thruway Authority.

The State Inspector General’s office is reportedly investigating the use of state-owned phones by Thruway officials to solicit call-girls.

“I don’t have all the details, but I know people are not working there anymore. That is zero tolerance, and that’s the government, the governor does not tolerate,” Hochul said.

Hochul says Cuomo’s stance on ethics reform is crystal-clear. In Buffalo, Tuesday, the Governor said he would not sign a budget agreement without passage of ethics reforms by the state legislature.

“He has tried for years. He has tried, he’s proposed, he’s negotiated. But when the legislature won’t act in something that’s going to reign them in, whether it’s disclosing their income or accepting rules that says that if they are convicted of a felony that they’re not going to be able to get a state pension, they don’t want to pass those,” said Hochul.

Hochul says Cuomo is willing to forgo his record of on-time budgets in favor of cleaning up Albany corruption. The Lieutenant Governor says she feels good about the potential for passage of ethics reforms, now that the Governor has drawn a line in the sand.

Hochul says people need to know – despite recent headline-grabbing incidents – that the majority of public servants are doing the right thing. She says people should maintain their confidence in the work of the government, and know that there is no tolerance for violations of the public’s trust.