The Wall Street Journal:
Inquiry into sexual-harassment allegations looks at whether a top adviser linked access to Covid-19 vaccines to support for the governor
The state attorney general’s office has expanded its investigation of sexual-harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo to look at whether one of his top advisers linked access to Covid-19 vaccines to support for the governor, according to people familiar with the matter.
Investigators have interviewed at least three Democratic county executives who said they were surprised to receive calls from Larry Schwartz, a volunteer adviser who oversaw vaccine distribution for the state, asking whether they would be calling for Mr. Cuomo’s resignation, the people said.
Mr. Schwartz contacted more than a half-dozen executives in early March, executives said, as Mr. Cuomo faced mounting calls for his resignation from members of his own political party and was personally contacting state lawmakers to shore up support.
The executives said that at the time of Mr. Schwartz’s calls they were typically speaking with him about the allocation of vaccine supplies, not politics.
Mr. Schwartz has said he didn’t link vaccine distribution to political considerations. On Friday, he referred questions to his lawyer, Guy Petrillo, who declined to comment.
Mr. Schwartz, an executive at an airport-concession company, resigned from his post as the state’s vaccine czar last week after state lawmakers changed lobbying rules for nonpaid state advisers. Under the new rules, Mr. Schwartz would have been banned for two years from lobbying the governor’s office if he had stayed on in the role.