One of Gov. Kathy Hochul's first stated priorities when she became governor a month ago was to reverse what was widely seen as a toxic environment under her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo.
Former Gov. David Paterson on Friday in an interview said Hochul has been able to turn the page on Cuomo with that effort, as well be willing to track in a different direction for the last 30 days.
"I think she was really strong in changing the toxic work environment that clearly existed before she got there," Paterson said.
Paterson as governor dealt with his own problems in his office, including the domestic violence case against an aide, who later pled guilty. Paterson was never accused of criminal actions, but was nevertheless under scrutiny for his role in the case.
Paterson, like Hochul, was elevated to the governor's office following the resignation of a scandal-embattled predecessaor. Paterson pointed to his willingness to challenge the budgets of Eliot Spitzer, arguing those plans spent too much and compared that to Hochul being willing to contradict Cuomo.
"Where he's been wrong, she was willing to point it out as I had to do when I said Gov. Spitzer introduced a budget with too much spending int it," Paterson said. "I'm sure he didn't appreciate it, but her willingness to be independent is very similar is how she's conducted herself."
And Paterson credited Hochul with efforts to reduce the jail population at Rikers Island in New York City as well as not replacing federal supplemental unemployment aid in order to reduce joblessness.
"I really liked that she tried to stimulate employment by not adding to the stimulus because businesses can't find anyone to work right now," he said.