ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP)  -- Minnesota Sen. Al Franken says Tina Smith will be an ``excellent'' U.S. senator in his place.

But Franken still isn't setting a date when he'll step down. Franken aid last week that he would depart ``in coming weeks'' after he was accused by several women of improper conduct.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday appointed Smith, his lieutenant governor, to fill fellow Democrat Franken's seat until a special election next November.

Franken issued a written statement calling Smith a ``dedicated public servant'' who can work across party lines. He says he'll work with her on a fast transition.