William Hochul is a former United States Attorney and the husband of Kathy Hochul, who was sworn in as New York’s first female governor on August 24, 2021.
She was first elected as New York Lieutenant Governor in 2014 but was promoted to the top job after Andrew Cuomo’s resignation. The transition makes William Hochul the first “first gentleman” of New York.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. William Hochul Was the Lead Prosecutor on the ‘Lackawanna Six’ Case
William Hochul became more widely known across the country after the September 11, 2011 attacks. He became the chief of the Western District of New York’s Anti-Terrorism Unit, according to the Justice Department. That position involved prosecuting several international terrorism cases.
One of those cases that attracted a lot of attention was the notorious “Lackawanna Six” case. Six Yemeni-American men from Lackawanna, New York, were accused of attending an Al Qaeda training camp in 2001. CNN reported in 2003 that the FBI learned about the men’s trip to Afghanistan “from an anonymous letter from an Arab-American.” Investigators started watching the six men after they returned to the United States. Hochul recalled to Spectrum News that the Lackawanna Six case represented the “first known instance of Americans traveling to join al-Qaeda.”
Hochul and his colleagues were rewarded with the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service for their work on the case. As the Justice Department noted in a news release, it’s the highest award the department grants. Hochul was also given a Service to America Award.
2. Hochul Served in the Justice Department for Nearly 30 Years
Hochul worked for the Department of Justice for nearly 30 years. According to his LinkedIn account, he joined the department in March 1987. He started as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C. before moving back to his hometown of Buffalo, New York, in 1991.
In 2009, former President Obama nominated Hochul as the United States Attorney for the Western District of New York. Hochul remained in that role for more than six years before deciding to retire from public service.
The Western District of New York announced Hochul’s retirement in October 2016 with a press release. He was praised for overseeing a period of time where “criminal prosecution of terrorism, intellectual property, white-collar, environmental, narcotics, identity theft, and cyber-related offenses resulted in some of the most significant cases in District history.”
3. Hochul Now Works for a Food Service Company & as a Law School Professor
Hochul may have retired from public service but he is still a practicing attorney. After leaving the Justice Department, Hochul took a job with Delaware North. It’s a food service and hospitality management company based in Buffalo. According to his LinkedIn account, Hochul is still serving as the company’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary.
Hochul also wrote on his LinkedIn page that he is an adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo School of Law. He taught law students about Corporate Crisis Management. But it’s unclear whether he is currently teaching. Hochul is not listed as a faculty member on the school’s website.
4. Hochul Is Licensed to Practice Law in New York & Washington, D.C.
Hochul is licensed to practice law in both Washington, D.C. and in the state of New York. The DC Bar lists him as an active attorney in “good standing.”
According to the New York State Unified Court System website, Hochul was admitted as a registered New York attorney in May 1994. His account on Avvo.com also shows Hochul was once licensed to practice law in Maryland but that license has since expired.
Hochul earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of Notre Dame in 1981, according to his LinkedIn account. He went on to earn his law degree from the University at Buffalo in 1984.
5. William & Kathy Hochul Are Both Buffalo Natives & Raised Their Children There
According to William III’s wedding announcing in the New York Times, he followed his parent’s footsteps and pursued a career in law. He earned a law degree from Notre Dame. His sister, Katie, chose a business career and earned an MBA from the University of Maryland, according to LinkedIn.
William and Kathy Hochul are still based in the Buffalo area. A search of online records list them as the owners of at least two properties in the city.