NEW YORK - Lt. Gov. David Paterson has started his transition to the role of governor following Eliot Spitzer's stunning downfall and resignation.

Paterson will be sworn in Monday. Spitzer, accused of paying thousands of dollars for trysts with prostitutes, announced his plans to resign during a news conference Wednesday.

Paterson will become the first black governor of New York. He will also become the first New York governor with a disability since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Paterson is legally blind.

While Spitzer was well-known for his aggressive nature, some critics argue Paterson is too nice. Political consultant Austin Shafran says Paterson's friendly demeanor should not be confused with weakness.

"He can throw his weight around and get things done with the people in New York," says Shafran.

Paterson will have some work cut out for him - the state's budget is due two weeks after he steps into office.