Pataki's Parting Gift for Wiesenfeld

After months of delays, George Pataki sent the name of Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, his former Jewish liaison, to the Republican-controlled state Senate for reappointment as trustee to CUNY last Friday. And it went nowhere.

A spokeswoman for Senate Republicans, Lisa Black, blamed the hold-up on a technicality: Wiesenfeld’s name, she said, was sent too late on Friday for the chairman of the higher education committee, Kenneth LaValle of Long Island, to schedule a meeting on it. And since the appointment wasn’t taken up by the committee, it wasn’t passed on to the senate for a vote.

Pataki had reportedly been reluctant to reappoint Wiesenfeld because of opposition from the CUNY faculty union.

Now, because of the last-second nomination, Wiesenfeld’s appointment will have to wait for the next time the senate is called into session — which likely won’t be until Pataki is gone and, by the looks of things, a Democrat named Eliot Spitzer is running the show.

All of which either means that the Pataki folks were guilty of a innocent-but-clumsy bureaucratic error that could potentially cost Wiesenfeld his trusteeship, or that the hold-up was a deliberate way of sinking the reappointment without appearing to do so.

Theories?

Update: State Senator Liz Krueger has more on Pataki’s appointments over at Room 8.

– Azi Paybarah