OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Larry Schwartz, a longtime ally to former New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has resigned from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board.
Schwartz’s resignation comes as several state officials were named in the sexual harassment report that forced Cuomo to step down.
Schwartz was tasked with overseeing New York City’s subways and transit system.
“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,” Bloomberg reported.
“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,” Bloomberg added.
“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.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who endorsed Cuomo resigning, likely also supports Schwartz and others connected to Cuomo stepping down from their positions.
Schumer, the top Democrat in the U.S. Senate and arguably in New York, has been vocal in calling for those connected to or associated with the Cuomo mess to resign.
Back in August, Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, both New York Democrats, demanded Cuomo resign.
“Today’s report from the New York State Attorney General substantiated and corroborated the allegations of the brave women who came forward to share their stories — and we commend the women for doing so,” they said in a statement. “We continue to believe that the Governor should resign.”
— Transportation in the USA (@Mobility_USA) October 12, 2021
Cuomo resigned from office after being accused of sexual misconduct.
“I’m a New Yorker, born and bred. I’m a fighter and my instinct is to fight through this controversy because I truly believe it is politically motivated, I believe it is unfair and it is untruthful and I believe it demonizes behavior that is unsustainable for society,” Cuomo said at the time.
“I love New York and I love you and everything I have ever done has been motivated by that love,” he said on Tuesday.
“I would never want to be unhelpful in any way. And I think that given the circumstances the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let the government get back to governing,” he said. “And therefore that’s what I’ll do because I work for you and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you.
“Kathy Hochul, my lieutenant governor, is smart and competent. This transition must be seamless he said.
“This situation by its current trajectory will generate months of political and legal controversy. That is what is going to happen. That is how the political wind is blowing. It will consume government. It will cost taxpayers millions of dollars,” he said.
This came after the Albany County sheriff’s office says that it will not be “intimidated or coerced” in the criminal investigation of the state’s controversy-ridden governor Andrew Cuomo, which was filed by a former executive assistant to the governor.
A probe by the New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ found that Cuomo broke federal and state laws with his conduct.