ALBANY – Andrew Mark Cuomo, a Queens native and the eldest son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, was sworn in as New York’s 56th governor last night, completing a remarkable political resurrection after his failed bid to win the office eight years ago.
The ceremony at the Executive Mansion — three blocks from the state Capitol, where he plans to report to work at 8 a.m. today — makes Cuomo the first son of a New York governor to follow in his father’s footsteps as he takes the reins of a state in fiscal turmoil.
“I am honored and humbled to accept this tremendous responsibility,” said Cuomo, after being sworn in during a private ceremony at 10:09 p.m. “The time has come to return integrity, performance and dignity to New York and make it the Empire State once again. I look forward to getting to work right away for the people of our great state.”
Earlier the governor said his “intention is to change the orientation of state government from a culture dominated by lobbyists and special interests to a place governed by and for the people.
“For a decade, it’s been responsive to the special interests and not the people,” Cuomo continued. “My goal is to achieve an economy that is growing, communities where taxes are reducing, and a Legislature and a state government that is defined by integrity and is viewed with pride by New Yorkers.”
Cuomo, 53, and his new lieutenant, Robert Duffy, the former mayor of Rochester, were administered the oath of office by Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.
His swearing-in was conducted in front of the fireplace in the Executive Mansion’s great Receiving Hall with his father and mother, Matilda, standing nearby. The experience was especially moving for the elder Cuomos, who called the mansion home from 1983 to 1995.
Some 80 Cuomo friends, aides and relatives were invited to the ceremony, including Cuomo’s three daughters from his marriage to Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, which ended in divorce in 2005, and his celebrity girlfriend, Sandra Lee, of the Food Network’s “Semi-Homemade.”
Duffy’s wife and family were also on hand.
Today, Cuomo plans an 8:30 a.m. staff meeting that will be followed by a low-key inauguration ceremony.
The public will hear from Cuomo at greater length on Wednesday night, when he delivers his State of the State speech.
Cuomo, who served a single term as attorney general, wrapped up his final day as the state’s top law-enforcement officer yesterday by announcing a $120 million settlement with four insurance groups for overcharging insurance companies for workers’ compensation benefits.
Meanwhile, the new governor announced several new members of his administration, including Ellen Biben, who most recently served as the attorney general’s top public-integrity prosecutor, as state inspector general — a pick disclosed last week by The Post.
He tapped former Goldman Sachs finance director Thomas Mattox as the state’s tax commissioner, subject to Senate confirmation.
Cuomo also named Jim Malatra, a political-science Ph.D. and a one-time aide to ex-Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester), as his deputy secretary for policy management, and Joshua Vlasto, a former spokesman for Cuomo’s campaign and for Sen. Charles Schumer, as his deputy communications director.
Vlasto’s father, James Vlasto, once served as press secretary to Gov. Hugh Carey.
Cuomo plans to hit the ground running as his administration faces the daunting task of reining in a $1 billion deficit in the current budget.