This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?
January 3, 2020

Who was this week's biggest Winner?

David Hansell
Donovan Richards
Andrew Cuomo
Ed Braunstein and Leroy Comrie
Vicki Schneps-Yunis
Other (write your answer below)

A viral tweet posed a question to straphangers: Which subway seat is the best? It sparked furious debates on the merits of each seat in the older L-shaped configuration as Twitter denizens weighed in with their definitive rankings. But according to New York City Transit President and certified Train Daddy Andy Byford, every seat is a winner. Living up to his moniker, Byford said that choosing the best one is like “asking a parent to choose a favorite child.” We’re not as benevolent as T. Diddy, though, which means it’s time to pick this week’s Winners & Losers.

Ed Braunstein and Leroy Comrie

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent the end of the year signing bills into law and “snapping” others out of existence with his veto. Assemblyman Ed Braunstein and state Sen. Leroy Comrie’s bill allowing New York City construction projects to use design-build contracting to cut costs and save time survived the year-end frenzy. Cuomo has been using design-build for years – it’s nice the governor finally deigned to let New York City have a go.

Andrew Cuomo

The governor is getting props for his response to recent anti-Semitic attacks in Rockland County and Brooklyn, thanks to his new challenge for lawmakers to pass a new bill to establish a domestic terrorism charge once they get back to Albany next week. He’s also announced a bigger state police presence in Orthodox communities. Cuomo likes to say governing sometimes means political squabbling has to take a back seat to bigger problems, so we’re waiting to see what else he’s got at the upcoming State of the State address. 

David Hansell

It’s not often that the head of New York City’s child welfare agency lands on the winning side of our list – but for once things seem to be going his way. The city is expected to land about $90 million in federal dollars over two years to maintain its initiative that seems to be getting kids out of foster care faster. The department’s latest survey also showed that parents are giving a thumbs-up to services that help them stay with their kids.

Donovan Richards

New York City Councilman Donovan Richards received the Queens Democratic Party’s endorsement in the upcoming borough president special election. In the end, he was the only candidate out of the six who actually wanted its backing. Turns out there’s not a big appetite to feed at the establishment trough. But if Melinda Katz’s narrow victory for district attorney proved anything, it’s that the Queens machine still holds some sway. And now that Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman dropped out, Richards likely has Southeast Queens in the bag as well.

Vicki Schneps-Yunis

The president of Schneps Media’s year is off to a good start, with the New York Post reporting that the growing newspaper empire purchased its second city-wide, Metro New York. After acquiring amNewYork last month, Schneps-Yunis now has a monopoly on the free papers you read on the subway when you forget to charge your phone. Schneps had been growing its presence in the community weekly scene, and with two new acquisitions in as many months, Schneps’ influence in the struggling local news industry seems poised to keep growing. 

Marty Golden

A stop-work order isn’t a lump of coal, but it’s one of the last things you’d want to get on Christmas Eve. But that’s exactly what was waiting under the Christmas tree for former state Sen. Marty Golden and his brother. A Bay Ridge apartment building that the duo co-owns had workers making repairs to the roof and facade without putting up scaffolding to protect pedestrians, among other violations. The Golden brothers are now facing a $25,000 fine and a year in prison for each violation. Marty’s been on City & State’s naughty list for a while … now he might be on Santa’s.

David Hay

New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza’s Deputy Chief of Staff David Hay was arrested in a Milwaukee airport on Sunday, accused of using a computer to arrange for sex with an underage boy. Hay was fired from his post after the arrest (probably best he keep his distance from the school system) and the Department of Education launched an investigation – though it might’ve been nice if the department had actually completed a background check back when he was hired under then-Chancellor Carmen Fariña. 

Brian Kolb

The Assembly minority leader left Republicans with a huge political headache after he got arrested for allegedly driving drunk on New Year’s Eve. It’s bad enough that he crashed his state-issued vehicle into a ditch, but he had to do it just in time to become one of the first official beneficiaries of the newly implemented bail reforms – the ones the Republican conference has been railing against for months. He may or may not get to stay on as minority leader, but his career as an anti-drunk driving columnist is over.

Michael Reynolds

Former NYPD Officer Michael Reynolds was less than a model representative of New York’s finest in July, when he drunkenly broke into a black Nashville woman’s home and threatened her and her children with racist obscenities. Despite the violent outburst – for which he was sentenced to 15 days in jail in November – Reynolds had up until this week kept his job with the NYPD. But the officer finally paid the price for his actions on Thursday, when he resigned his position before the department began its disciplinary process, proving that what happens in Nashville doesn’t really stay there – it follows you back to New York roughly eighteen months later after widespread outrage and an online petition leaves quitting as the obvious resort.

Matthew Rosenbaum

State court administrative officials stripped the state Supreme Court justice of his duties, but we have no idea why. At the moment, no one can legally say what exactly Matthew Rosenbaum, the 2018 Jurist of the Year, did wrong, but state officials are definitely investigating him for something. For all we know, the allegations may not be that bad but the secrecy will keep tongues wagging for some time. As the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle succinctly put it: “Is this all unusual? Very.”

City & State