Politics

Cuomo probe looks at vaccine czar’s calls to county leaders

Schwartz has acknowledged making calls to county executives but said he “did nothing wrong” and denied discussing vaccines during those conversations.

The state attorney general’s office declined comment. Cuomo’s office referred to a statement that Beth Garvey, acting counsel to the governor, issued on the matter in March. In it, she said that allegations Schwartz acted unethically or against the interests of New Yorkers was “patently false.”

“Larry’s conversations did not bring up vaccine distribution — he would never link political support to public health decisions,” Garvey said. “Distorting Larry’s role or intentions for headlines maligns a decades long public servant who has done nothing but volunteer around the clock since March (2020) to help New York get through the COVID pandemic.”

Schwartz, an executive at a company that runs restaurants and other services at major airports, resigned from his volunteer “czar” position last week ahead of a change in state rules that would’ve barred him from lobbying governor’s office for two years if he stayed on.

Schwartz served as secretary to the governor from 2011 until 2015 and remains a member of the board of directors at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state agency that runs public transit in the New York City area.

Attorney General Letitia James, an independently elected Democrat, hired former Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim and employment discrimination attorney Anne Clark in March to lead an investigation into allegations that Cuomo sexually harassed or behaved inappropriately toward several women, including former staffers.

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