@probacutor @CuomoWatch Anybody hire Larry Schwartz?
— realitybasededucator (@perdidostschool) February 22, 2015
.@perdidostschool @probacutor Fantastic question. Larry Schwartz has been VERY quiet since Preet Bharara depositions. pic.twitter.com/NwkkZO0ear
— Cuomo Watch (@CuomoWatch) February 22, 2015
Schwartz allegedly left Cuomo's employ in January for a "private sector job," but no public announcement was ever made about what that job is.
Today we learn from Fred Dicker at the NY Post why there was no public announcement - it's because Schwartz is still on the payroll:
Gov. Cuomo’s former chief of staff, Lawrence Schwartz — who is under scrutiny in Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s explosive public-corruption probe and supposedly off the state payroll — is, in fact, still being paid an astronomical sum, The Post has learned.
Cuomo officially announced Schwartz was leaving state employment on Jan. 11, saying his top aide “departs the administration for the private sector’’ and was being replaced in his $181,560-a-year post — $2,560 more than the governor is paid and one of the highest salaries in state government — by investment banker William Mulrow.
Yet Friday, 40 days after the Cuomo announcement and with Mulrow serving as chief-of-staff, Schwartz was still on the state payroll at the same large salary, according to official records checked on Friday.
Schwartz is listed as serving in the never-before-seen title of “Dir of the NY Off’’ of the governor, according to the records.
While the records show that Schwartz did, in fact, give up the job of secretary to Mulrow effective Feb. 2, they reveal that he was transferred to the new title on the same day — with no announcement by the governor.
Schwartz didn’t respond to e-mail and telephone requests for comment.
A spokesman for Cuomo said Schwartz was “transitioning out of his role and has been on accrued vacation and personal time, which is standard.’’
But a state employment official called the arrangement “highly unusual’’ and noted that Schwartz’s new job title “was one I’ve never seen before.’’
Several Cuomo-administration sources said Schwartz, who was known as Cuomo’s tough-talking and often crude “enforcer,’’ had planned to leave for a private-sector job, possibly in the real-estate industry, but had been unable to finalize an employment agreement because of Bharara’s ongoing investigation.
“People are nervous about hiring Larry because they see him as ‘radioactive’ over the Bharara investigation,’’ said one source.
Another source said Cuomo, who has hired a prominent white-collar criminal lawyer to advise him on the Bharara probe, may be keeping Schwartz on the state payroll in “order to help Larry out at a time when Larry could possibly do the governor a whole lot of damage.’’
Why is Schwartz still on the payroll? Why did they create a special title for him? What's he doing in return for his salary? And why wasn't Cuomo upfront about this when the announcement was made that Schwartz was leaving his secretary position?
Dicker may have the answer here:
Two sources said there had been recent tension between Cuomo and Schwartz over the ongoing probe.
Keeping Schwartz secretly on the payroll for $181,000+ a year and creating some jive title for him in order to do it certainly smacks of a "You take care of us, We'll take care of you" kind of thing.
Might even call this a Quid Pro Quo arrangement.
I wonder what the feds think about this arrangement?