BUFFALO, N.Y. — Delaware North says Senior Vice President and General Counsel Bill Hochul will be leaving the company on Aug. 15.

His role with the company has created several potential conflicts of interest for his wife Gov. Kathy Hochul during her time in office, but she says they are in no way connected to his decision.

"Seven years is a long time post your other career when you could have retired after 30 years, so it's time to spend more time with my husband," the governor told reporters Thursday.

Regardless, New York Public Interest Research Group Executive Director Blair Horner said the move should ease some tension on the governor.

"The headache doesn't go away, but it certainly makes it less likely that those who oppose what the governor wants to do, for example, could sort of trot out her spouse’s employment," Horner said.

Over the past several years for instance, critics have questioned Delaware North's then-role as a concessions contractor for the Buffalo Bills as the state gave hundreds of millions in public money to the organization for a new stadium. The company is also a direct gaming competitor with the Seneca Nation, which has been negotiating a new compact with the state and of Western Region OTB, which saw its board reconstituted this year by new legislation.

Since taking office, Gov. Hochul has attempted to navigate the conflicts by automatically recusing herself and assigning staff in her place.

"The recusals will be eliminated when his job is gone," she said.

NYPIRG said the recusals are preferable to the governor taking no action, but preferred she request and make public an opinion from the state's ethics agency. With Seneca negotiations and potential OTB litigation still ongoing, Horner said it's still a good idea.

"I think she should seek the guidance for the state ethics agency now, because then you clear away a lot of the confusion and the ability of those who are opposed to whatever the governor is doing to sort of muddy the waters," Horner said.

Bill Hochul served as the U.S. Attorney for New York's Western District before moving on to Delaware North. Horner said he likely won't be the last spouse in the executive's office with a prominent professional profile, and going forward, NYPIRG continues to recommend governors seek an ethics opinion.