Cuomo Ally Larry Schwartz Resigns From MTA Board in Staff Purge
(Bloomberg) -- Larry Schwartz, a longtime ally of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, resigned from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board on Thursday as part of an exodus of state officials named in the sexual harassment report that prompted Cuomo to step down.
Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said Schwartz offered to resign from the powerful post, which oversees the workings of New York City’s subways and transit system. Since becoming governor in August, Hochul has tried to clear her administration of those associated with the scandal-plagued former governor.
Cuomo, a three-term Democrat, resigned on Aug. 23 after a state Attorney General report corroborated 11 allegations of sexual harassment. Cuomo has denied the claims. The report also revealed the inner workings of the administration, describing it as a hostile work environment.
“My position was, anybody who was named in that report by the attorney general would no longer be part of my cabinet,” Hochul said during a Thursday briefing, adding that she also has asked several individuals on boards to resign as well.
Schwartz has been a long-time ally of Cuomo, serving as his volunteer “vaccine czar” during the coronavirus pandemic. While leading the state’s vaccine rollout last March, Schwartz called Democratic county executives in the state to gauge their political support for Cuomo, according to the attorney general’s report.
The governor’s office said Schwartz’s resignation will go into effect when a successor is confirmed and that it would conduct an exhaustive search for his replacement. Hochul’s appointee to the position must be confirmed by the state Senate, which is not scheduled to reconvene until January.
“The MTA Board is accountable to riders and represents the voices of New Yorkers,” said Hochul spokesperson Hazel Crampton-Hays. “Our administration will be soliciting input from advocates, impacted communities, and experts on candidates to fill the open seats on the board.”
The MTA said it supported Hochul’s decision.
“Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, the MTA board is operating in a collaborative manner and in light of serious challenges, financial and otherwise, faced by the Authority, it is useful to have as close to a full roster as possible of board members,” MTA spokesman Tim Minton said in a statement.
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