Garnar: Officials Didn’t Tie Pandemic Help to Support for Cuomo
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says New York state officials have not linked Covid-19 assistance to his support of embattled Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The Washington Post reported state "vaccine czar" Larry Schwartz had been calling county officials around New York to determine whether they were loyal to Cuomo.
According to the account, one Democratic county executive filed notice of an impending ethics complaint with the public integrity unit of the state attorney general’s office after receiving a call from Schwartz.
The unnamed official was concerned that the county's vaccine supply could be adversely affected if Schwartz didn't like what he had to say about the governor.
Garnar on Monday issued a short statement in response to questions about whether he had been lobbied by Schwartz to support Cuomo.
“During the last year of the pandemic I have had hundreds of phone calls with state officials, including Larry Schwartz, working with them to coordinate the response to COVID-19. At no time did any state official ask for my support for the governor in exchange for help with the pandemic.”
Garnar was not available to answer specific questions about the conversations he's had with Schwartz. The county executive Sunday evening announced he had been "placed into mandatory quarantine due to a potential Covid-19 exposure."
Garnar said he would to continue to work from home through the end of his quarantine.
Schwartz is familiar with Broome County. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science from Binghamton University.
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