May the Schwartz be with her?
Gov. Kathy Hochul has pledged to ditch officials who were implicated in the state attorney general’s probe of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment of multiple women — but at least one says he’s not going anywhere just yet.
“I don’t believe I did anything that was unethical — that’s my opinion,” MTA board member Larry Schwartz said Thursday when asked about the 29 mentions of his name in the AG report released Aug. 3
Schwartz, who served as Cuomo’s COVID-19 “vaccine czar” until April 30, was cited by investigators for using his official position to call county executives and gauge their support for Cuomo amid growing pressure for an investigation into his behavior. The calls are also being investigated by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and a separate probe by the attorney general’s office.
“I made six phone calls to six county executives, which I’ve admitted I regret having [made] those calls. I’m not in the book about sexual harassment,” he told The Post, referring to the AG’s report. “I’m in the book because I made those phone calls.”
But the MTA board rep since 2015 insisted he was “tired of being on it,” and only continuing in the role as a favor to Hochul, who he called “a friend.”
“I’ve been looking for over two years to get off, so I’m not looking to stay on,” he said. “But I will do the right thing. If they feel I can be a help short term, or long term, we can talk about it. I’ll do whatever the new administration wants. They’re aware.”
The governor appoints five of the MTA’s 16 voting board reps and its chairman. Linda Lacewell, who’s known as Cuomo’s “enforcer” and was mentioned 35 times in the AG report, is so far the only one of the ex-governor’s MTA appointees to step aside in light of his resignation.
Schwartz said he was not going to resign “on my own” unless the state senate can reconvene to appoint a successor. He said he has not spoken to “the former governor.”
“If they don’t want my help, I’ll disappear,” he said.
Asked about Schwartz remaining on the board, Hochul reiterated her desire to clean house of Cuomo allies cited by the AG, but said she needed time to get it done.
“I’m committed to ensuring that the people named in the attorney general’s report will no longer serve in my administration,” the governor said. “I’ve asked for a 45-day period. Some individuals will be gone sooner than that. Many have already been removed or left on their own because they knew they were not going to be in my administration.”
Lisa Daglian of the MTA’s in-house citizen advisory committee said MTA watchers are hopeful Hochul decides to retain Cuomo’s hand-picked MTA Chair Janno Lieber, who assumed the position mere days before the AG report was released.
“We believe there is strong leadership in place at the agency,” Daglian said. “They should be allowed to do their jobs as transit professionals.”
View original post