Larry Schwartz, who oversees New York's COVID-19 vaccine rollout, allegedly called county officials seeking support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) amid mounting sexual misconduct accusations, per multiple reports Sunday. Schwartz and Cuomo's office deny the claims.
Driving the news: The Washington Post and New York Times report an unnamed Democratic county executive who claims Schwartz contacted them filed a notice of an impending ethics complaint with the N.Y. attorney general's office Friday.
- The executive told WashPost, "At best, it was inappropriate. At worst, it was clearly over the ethical line."
- Democratic Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone told the New York Post: "Last Friday, I had a conversation with Larry Schwartz who reached out to discuss whether I was supportive of the governor."
- Bellone added that he explained to Schwartz, a longtime adviser to Cuomo, that the allegations made against the governor were serious and that he supports an independent investigation.
What they're saying: Beth Garvey, acting counsel to the governor, said in an emailed statement: "Larry answered our call to volunteer in March and has since then worked night and day to help New York through" the pandemic.
- "Any suggestion that he acted in any way unethically or in any way other than in the best interest of the New Yorkers that he selflessly served is patently false," she added.
- Schwartz said in a statement to news outlets, "All decisions regarding vaccines are done based on public health considerations, not politics.
- Representatives for Bellone and the N.Y. attorney general's office did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.