For Gov. Andrew Cuomo, one New York Post columnist–and maybe the entire newspaper–is garbage.
The Democratic governor lashed out today at Post columnist Fred Dicker, calling a critical story about a former top aide “really garbage.”
“As a matter of fact, the entire story was really garbage, you know, and I know garbage because I read that paper but that was really garbage,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters after a speech in Manhattan.
Mr. Dicker, the dean of the Albany press corps and a radio host, reported today that Mr. Cuomo’s former chief of staff, Lawrence Schwartz, is still on the state payroll. Through anonymous sourcing, Mr. Dicker claimed Mr. Schwartz was still being paid part of his annual $181,560 salary because he was having trouble finding private sector work after the Moreland Commission scandal.
Mr. Dicker reported Mr. Schwartz’s new job title on records was “Dir of the NY Off.” Mr. Cuomo said today that Mr. Schwartz was simply being paid for accrued vacation time and has been assisting with his second term transition.
As for the job title change, Mr. Cuomo also had a simple explanation: “The job title for secretary was filled so he had to have a different job title while he was on payroll. You can’t have two secretaries to the governor.”
Mr. Cuomo shot down the charge that Mr. Schwartz was having trouble landing a private sector gig.
“He has three fantastic offers that I was considering them for myself if he didn’t take them. So there was nothing to it,” he said.
Mr. Dicker used to be close to Mr. Cuomo until the governor passed extensive gun control measures in 2013. Mr. Dicker, a firearms enthusiast, turned on Mr. Cuomo and the relationship cooled.
Mr. Dicker stood by his story today.
“The facts speak for themselves,” he emailed the Observer.
Jillian Jorgensen contributed reporting.