Source: Amy Furr
The state attorney general’s office has reportedly broadened its investigation of sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) to see if a top adviser linked access to coronavirus vaccines to support for Cuomo.
According to persons familiar with the issue, “Investigators have interviewed at least three Democratic county executives who said they were surprised to receive calls from Larry Schwartz, a volunteer adviser who oversaw vaccine distribution for the state, asking whether they would be calling for Mr. Cuomo’s resignation,” the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
Schwartz reportedly contacted several executives in March, according to executives, as Cuomo faced calls to resign and was communicating with state lawmakers to gain support.
“The executives said that at the time of Mr. Schwartz’s calls they were typically speaking with him about the allocation of vaccine supplies, not politics,” the WSJ article continued:
Mr. Schwartz has said he didn’t link vaccine distribution to political considerations. On Friday, he referred questions to his lawyer, Guy Petrillo, who declined to comment.
Mr. Schwartz, an executive at an airport-concession company, resigned from his post as the state’s vaccine czar last week after state lawmakers changed lobbying rules for nonpaid state advisers. Under the new rules, Mr. Schwartz would have been banned for two years from lobbying the governor’s office if he had stayed on in the role.
In March, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) called for another investigation into Cuomo’s administration following reports of his “vaccine czar” making calls to local officials to gauge their loyalty to the governor, Breitbart News reported.
“What we’ve heard is about the governor and his team, trying to link vaccine supply to political support, that is the definition of corruption. It is disgusting. It is dangerous,” de Blasio stated.
Also in March, a county executive reportedly filed a complaint regarding the call from Schwartz with the attorney general’s office, according to the WSJ.
“Right at the time that every county was working, and desperately needed more vaccines, to receive a call from the person who was responsible for allocating those doses gauging political loyalty to the governor was an obvious conflict, and at best ethically gray,” noted one county executive who got a phone call from Schwartz.
Meanwhile, six Republican senators issued a letter recently to the Senate Finance Committee requesting a congressional investigation into how Cuomo handled the nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic and the death toll at those institutions, Breitbart News reported.