Your parents always told you not to drink on an empty stomach, but this summer we’re throwing caution to the wind, whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo – a patriarch of sorts – likes it or not. State Sen. John Mannion and Assembly Member Monica Wallace passed a resolution this week that removes Cuomo’s emergency order requiring restaurants and bars to sell food along with any order of alcohol during the pandemic. Restaurant owners and Republicans have railed against the order since it was introduced last year, but the Legislature is finally doing away with the rule now that they’ve scaled back Cuomo’s emergency powers. Does this spell the end of Cuomo chips?
This week's biggest Winners & Losers
This week's biggest Winners & Losers
You know what they say: “Spring of Bill” showers bring “Summer of NYC” flowers. As the seasons are changing, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city is looking to fully reopen on July 1. One potentially sentient entity that won’t be here to enjoy the fun? The NYPD’s dystopian digidog, who was run out of town after being on last week’s Losers list. Scroll down to see who else should be looking for a new lease.
After a two year search, former state Supreme Court Justice Sanford Berland now has the honor of running the state’s beleaguered ethics watchdog agency. Now, that may not sound like the stuff dreams are made of, but the Joint Commission on Public Ethics has long been searching for a new executive director who for once isn’t a former staffer to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which makes Berland an anomaly. And the Long Island judge isn’t part of the Albany ecosystem that he’ll be expected to regulate. What a novel idea! Berland now has the opportunity to make over JCOPE’s image as scandals surround Cuomo that are surely ripe for ethics investigations.
Nonprofits contracting with New York City have long-expressed frustration about underfunding. To bridge that gap, the city launched a new initiative in 2019 to fund administrative costs and other overhead expenses for charities – which promptly got cut once the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The cut only renewed bad blood with city nonprofits, which were simultaneously tasked with helping some of the neediest New Yorkers during the crisis while financially strained. Leaders of organizations such as the Human Services Council, FPWA and United Neighborhood Houses pushed for the city to make the funding a priority. And those efforts were a success: the city fully replenished the initiative’s funding with a $120 million investment, to the joy of many charities across the five boroughs.
The city comptroller and mayoral hopeful was accused of sexual assault by Jean Kim, a woman who had previously worked with him on his 2001 campaign for public advocate, during a Wednesday press conference. Kim alleged that Stringer continuously groped and came onto her while working with him on the campaign. While Stringer has unequivocally denied all allegations of sexual misconduct, his supporters have been jumping ship left and right. The comptroller has said he won’t be pulling out of the race but it’s starting to look like his mayoral dreams – and possibly his career in politics – are dead in the water.
Three years after admitting to physically and verbally abusing women, former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is officially barred from practicing the law for a whopping 12 months. Despite the short-term penalty, it wasn’t as though Schneiderman was on track to have a thriving law practice since resigning from the top post. Disbarment is hardly the worst consequence Schneiderman could’ve faced anyway. After all, he managed to avoid criminal charges for his behavior. If anything, the loss could create new opportunities for the disgraced once-AG. Hit-television show Better Call Saul’s main character got plenty of money selling burner phones after losing his law license for a year. Maybe Schneiderman will use the opportunity to dive even deeper into his meditation practice.
The embattled governor can blame Trump all he wants for politicizing the pandemic, but it was gubernatorial aides that new reporting shows were scrambling for months to hide the true number of nursing home residents who died of COVID-19 in hospitals. Don’t expect the governor to sing a different tune on the matter anytime soon though. Instead, get ready for more press conferences far from the Capitol to help Cuomo evade the ever-aggressive Albany press corps.