Smith’s New Spokesman: Austin Shafran

Austin Shafran is leaving Hank Sheinkopf’s office to become a spokesman for Malcolm Smith, the embattled leader of the Senate Democratic conference, according to two people with knowledge of the move.

While at Sheinkopf’s office, Shafran was working on the Democratic transition, and has been accompanying Malcolm Smith at numerous events.

Shafran’s move comes shortly after Smith re-arranged his press office following an awkward week in Albany, which included him walking out of his own press conference.

Before Sheinkopf, Shafran worked in Queens for City Councilman David Weprin and has something of pedigree in local politics. His mother, Phyliss Shafran, worked for former borough president Donald Manes and former Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin.