January 26, 2018

January 26, 2018

Who had the best and worst week?
January 25, 2018

When we wrote about the irreplaceable loss of Joe Percoco as the governor’s enforcer, a flack scoffed that “City & State clearly doesn’t understand how this administration works.” How the administration actually does work is an important question, and some answers are coming out in Percoco’s corruption trial that began this week. But we’ll wait until the verdict – or at least for more damning or exculpatory evidence – before Percoco himself lands on this list. For now, here are this week’s Winners & Losers.

Winners: 
Eric Adams

It may be the month after Christmas, but Brooklyn’s borough president just got a big present from the Cuomo administration. As part of the state’s Vital Brooklyn program to inject $1.4 billion into Brooklyn’s health and economic development, Cuomo announced that the borough’s health care system overhaul is getting a nearly $700 million boost from the state government, with funds intended to improve facilities at three hospitals and create a new ambulatory network for the borough.

Darcel Clark

Can Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark clean up Rikers Island? Of course not. But that isn’t stopping her from trying. Clark got a glowing review in the Times for the work of her Rikers-based unit, which is investigating and charging assaults on the island at a – relatively – breakneck speed. Arrests of inmates are up, violence against correction officers is down, and Clark’s campaign pledge is paying off.

Edith Prentiss

Access-a-Ride totally sucks, as any This American Life listener will tell you, and less than a quarter of subway stations are handicapped-accessible (and it would be fewer, if fearful NIMBYs had their say). So this week’s announcement that the city will be expanding a service to hail an accessible taxi citywide is great news for Disabled in Action President Prentiss and her fellow disabled New Yorkers – including some 90,000 of them who rely on wheelchairs.

Polly Trottenberg

In a rare win for New York City, the transportation commissioner was able to postpone cosmetic subway renovations proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meeting. Trottenberg, who was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, opposed MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, who was appointed by Cuomo and wanted the proposed renovations to happen. In this proxy battle, Trottenberg, and by extension de Blasio, came out on top. But as long as this feud continues, one has to wonder if New Yorkers will ever be the winners.

Peter Ward

The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council chief may not have the largest union membership in New York, but he continues to show he’s one of the state’s most influential labor leaders. This week, the news broke that New York City filed a $1 million suit against a Manhattan landlord for allegedly converting an apartment into an illegal hotel using Airbnb, a sworn enemy of Ward’s HTC. Then, a long-running boycott of the Hilton Albany paid off as a new contract for hotel workers was ratified. And in a development that should cheer up any labor leader, union membership is again growing in the state.

Losers: 
Andrew Cuomo

Joe Percoco’s fate will be decided in court. For Gov. Andrew Cuomo, what matters is the court of public opinion. And with the governor’s former right-hand man on trial for alleged corruption, the media coverage has been as much about Cuomo as Percoco. Already, it’s been confirmed that Cuomo’s public schedule is notoriously incomplete, that nobody was closer to the governor than Percoco and that Percoco kept using his state office even when he had left to run Cuomo’s campaign – although, to be fair, the governor is not accused of wrongdoing.

Michael Kelly

The general manager for the New York City Housing Authority was forced to resign this week, the latest casualty from NYCHA’s ongoing lead paint scandal. Kelly was heavily involved in NYCHA’s attempt to cover up the fact it had failed to carry out required lead paint inspections, so his resignation is deserved. But what probably makes this sting more is the fact his boss, embattled NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye, lied under oath and not only still has a job, but even has the continued support of the mayor. Can someone say scapegoat?

Chuck Schumer

First, the Republicans tied Schumer to the government shutdown with the catchy hashtag #SchumerShutdown. Then, progressives were livid after Schumer voted to reopen the government without a deal to allow undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to stay in the country. Now the scapegoat for the far right and the far left, Schumer tried to appease his base, telling Trump that he wouldn’t accept a border wall. But the administration seems likely to demand one anyway. With a week like this, Schumer may soon be facing “What the f–––, Chuck” rallies outside his office once more.

Harendra Singh

Singh sang. The corruption-linked Long Island restaurateur said he tried to bribe Mayor Bill de Blasio, and it looks like he got something in return from City Hall … although the feds closed their investigation into the mayor’s sketchy fundraising and de Blasio denies any knowledge of the deal. Now, Singh may be headed up the river (to Sing Sing?) potentially looking at three to 20 years in the can. Well, it looks like Harendra did what he was born to do – he went down Singhing.

David Taylor

He’s been Procter & Gambling with the lives of children and the disabled. While P&G CEO Taylor is fighting the profoundly stupid “Tide Pod challenge” (in which teens film themselves chowing down on the colorful laundry detergent capsules), you might say the product was Taylor-made for trouble. Back in 2012, Schumer was already highlighting the risks. Now, there’s legislation in the pipeline, and a proposed snappy nickname to go with it. But can Albany turn the Tide before it’s too late? In the meantime, at least the feds have their own meme-ified call to arms. God help us all.

City & State
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