Banking

New York regulator resigning after report ties her to Cuomo PR effort

The head of the New York Department of Financial Services will resign from her post later this month, the latest fallout from the sexual harassment scandal that toppled Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

NYDFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell announced in an emailed letter to the agency’s staff that she would depart Aug. 24, which is the same day Cuomo plans to leave. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will become governor.

“It has been a privilege to lead you over the past two and a half years. With a new governor about to take office, it is time for me to move on and make way for new leadership,” Lacewell said in the letter.

Cuomo’s announcement that he will resign followed an investigation from the New York attorney general that found the third-term governor had sexually harassed 11 women and had created a toxic work environment.

NYDFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell announced in an <u><a label=”emailed letter” class=”rte2-style-brightspot-core-link-LinkRichTextElement” href=”https://www.dfs.ny.gov/reports_and_publications/statements_comments/2020/st202108131″>emailed letter</a></u> to the agency’s staff that she would depart Aug. 24, which is the same day Cuomo plans to leave.

Lacewell’s name appears more than 30 times in the 168-page investigative report released by the NY AG’s office earlier this month. An aide and advisor to the New York governor, Lacewell worked with other Cuomo allies to develop a public relations strategy as allegations gained traction in the media, including by collecting signatures for a letter of support for the governor, according to the report.

As head of the NYDFS, Lacewell battled the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in court over the federal agency’s narrow-purpose fintech charter, which state authorities have argued would undercut states’ ability to enforce interest rate caps and other consumer protections not found at the federal level.

Under Lacewell, the NYDFS also became the first financial regulator in the U.S. to issue climate guidance for banks and other financial institutions. The state agency also joined the Network for Greening the Financial System in Sept. 2019, more than a year before the Federal Reserve would join the international group.



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