Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

This week's biggest Winners & Losers.

This week's biggest Winners & Losers. City & State

Compared to the flood of news in recent weeks, the past seven days could seem quaint by comparison. Fortunately, the well-trained eye can still spot some newsworthy developments: multiple New York politicians earned rap stage names courtesy of the Wu-Tang Clan, an actual rapper is applying for a New York state sports betting license, and Eric Adams is somewhere in Europe on vacation, but no one will confirm where… With a lieutenant governor pick on the horizon, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s final days in office draining away, we doubt next week will be quite so relaxing.

WINNERS:

Karines Reyes & Michael Gianaris -

The vast majority of lawmakers are relieved to see Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepping down, with some like state Sen. Michael Gianaris downright ecstatic. But he and Assembly Member Karines Reyes got one final gift before Cuomo leaves office. He signed their legislation that creates a state-funded program for converting commercial properties and hotels into housing. The state Legislature passed the bill after it was dropped from the budget over disagreements over its specifics with the governor. And in one of his final acts as governor, Cuomo signed it into law.

James Pamphile, Ivelisse Castillo, et. al. -

In other outgoing Cuomo news, the soon-to-be-gone governor granted clemency to 10 felons. Half received pardons, while the other five got shortened sentences. For some of the beneficiaries, such as James Pamphile and Ivelisse Castillo, the pardon removing their convictions will help allow them to stay in the United States. The news has got several criminal justice advocates pushing for the scandalized governor to grant even more clemencies while he can.

Adrian Benepe -

The sun will go on to shine another day over the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The City Planning Commission intends to oppose the construction of a massive apartment tower project in Crown Heights that would have cast a shadow across the renowned garden should it be built in the area. Brooklyn Botanic Garden President Adrian Benepe has called the project an “existential threat” and a recent report from the Municipal Art Society said the garden would lose several hours of sunlight each day from the building, so the commission's decision is a big win for New York City nature lovers.

LOSERS:

Carl Heastie -

The Assembly speaker caught a lot of flack this week after dropping a Friday news bomb about how there would be no impeachment of Cuomo after all or even a public report of whatever juicy intelligence the Judiciary Committee has unearthed on the embattled governor. Too bad all that public outrage made him beat a hasty retreat a few days later. A final report is going to get issued in the end, but critics still fear Heastie might not be done yet shielding the governor from trouble. 

Josh Vlasto & Rich Bamberger -

Listen up, kids; Cuomo loyalism doesn’t pay. Just ask Josh Vlasto and Richard Bamberger, former aides to the governor who, despite not being employed in the Executive Chamber at the time, were supporting characters in the attorney general’s report on sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo. Like others mentioned in the report, these two day players have come under scrutiny and have now “agreed to amicably part ways” with their actual employer, the public relations firm Kivvit. According to the report, both were given copies of Lindsey Boylan’s personnel files. Vlasto reportedly suggested they release those files to the press and Bamberger was among those described as either reading or sending drafts of a letter criticizing Boylan.

Linda Lacewell -

Things are not looking well for Cuomo’s so-called “minister of defense.” The soon-to-be former state Department of Financial Services Superintendent Linda Lacewell announced her resignation last week, curiously not mentioning Cuomo’s name in her resignation letter to DFS staff. Rather, she framed her exit as an effort to “make way for new leadership,” a euphemism for her probable exit due to her implication in state Attorney General Tish James’s now-infamous report. 

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