This Staten Island teacher at PS 55 is getting her job back after state Supreme Court Justice Desmond Green ruled that the Department of Education violated her due-process rights. According to the judge’s ruling, the DOE skipped a required step by failing to have a panel first establish probable cause. The case, which could be precedent-setting, is a reminder of something we all learn in grade school: Follow the rules.
Who's up and who's down this week?
Who's up and who's down this week?
State Sens. Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Jeff Klein buried the hatchet this week, but will their newly announced Democratic unity deal stick? Either way, what will it mean for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Deputy Senate Minority Leader Michael Gianaris and dozens of others? For now, here are the clearest Winners & Losers from that deal – and from other noteworthy developments of the week.
Some politicians are content to stay quiet and simply attend to their constituents’ local issues. This Queens congressman has never been that kind of politician. Already a New York City Council whisperer, a Capitol Hill higher-up and the King of Queens, Crowley is now also a state Senate peacemaker, after attending the exclusive IDC-Senate Dems unification lunch. “They have until April to come back,” Crowley said in January. And he got his wish.
Brooklyn state Sen. Simcha Felder could ultimately be the one to determine which party gets the Senate majority. But Felder is in no rush, saying that he will wait until after the April 24 special elections to do so, since it’s “best for my constituents not to do anything until the elections.” If a Republican picks up a Senate seat, the GOP could have the majority, but if the Democratic Party wins, they would still be one vote short – and Felder’s vote could be decisive.
The former assemblyman psyched out the Cuomo administration! Kearns, now the Erie County clerk, joined forces with state Sen. Patrick Gallivan in a multi-year push to keep the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca. The governor, who had vetoed legislation that would have blocked an attempt to relocate the facility, agreed to back off and leave it where it is. Gallivan deserves credit too, but he just lost a lulu – and his Republican conference may soon be relegated to the minority.
After seven long years languishing in the minority, the senator, who was elected Senate Democratic leader in 2012, could become the state’s first female legislative majority leader. Stewart-Cousins and Jeff Klein shook hands at a closed-door meeting in which Cuomo outlined a plan to reunite the mainline Democrats and the eight members of the Independent Democratic Conference. If everything goes according to plan, Stewart-Cousins would be the Senate majority leader, and Klein, the IDC leader, her deputy.
Poor Coleman! New York City Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters ran her over like a bump in the road on his drive towards city governmental omnipotence. Fired in a two-minute (!) meeting after less than two months (!!) on the job as special commissioner of investigation for New York City schools, Coleman never stood a chance as Peters continues his transition from nerdy friend of the mayor to thorn in de Blasio’s side.
Hopefully she hasn’t spent all of her (allegedly) illegally obtained money, because she no longer has a job. Two months after she was indicted on fraud charges, Pamela Harris has resigned from the Assembly. Harris was elected into office in a 2015 special election, but she waited long enough to resign that her seat won’t again be filled by a special election – which allows party leaders to essentially handpick whomever they want. So even as she enjoys her (allegedly) ill-begotten spoils, like merchandise from Victoria’s Secret, Harris at least did one kind thing for her district before she goes to trial.
“I don’t see us ending the IDC,” he said. “I think it just works well,” he said. Well, Jeff Klein ain’t saying that anymore. Now, he’s taking credit for a deal announced Wednesday to immediately dissolve the IDC and reunite with the mainline Democrats in the state Senate. The deal doesn’t even give him co-leadership like he has now with the Republicans. Plus, two members of his conference just lost the shady lulus they were getting.
Oy vey! The Brooklyn assemblywoman made an ill-advised remark about Jews during a community board meeting, reportedly saying in response to a complaint about people who show up to try to buy homes in the community that they “must be Jewish people” – among other remarks that at least one Jewish city official present found offensive. The lawmaker didn’t deny the account, but did apologize. Now her opponents have something else on her – in addition to an episode with “a broomstick.”
First, she was used a potential bargaining chip during state budget negotiations: modest voting reform from Republicans in exchange for her ouster. Fortunately for Sugarman, that deal didn’t come to fruition. But now, the commissioners of the state Board of Elections moved to give themselves more control over her investigations as chief enforcement counsel. Both appear to be the result of political backlash, so Sugarman’s job would appear to be in danger because she was doing her job. Ah, the irony.