Cuomo spokesman calls-out columnist amid claims ex-aide is toxic

Written By kom nampuldu on Selasa, 24 Februari 2015 | 18.18

The Post must have struck a nerve with Gov. Cuomo.

The governor railed against the newspaper Monday as "garbage," while his spokesman denounced Post columnist Fred Dicker as worse than a "damn liar."

The outpouring of venom came in response to Dicker's story that a former top Cuomo aide can't find a job because of his role in managing an anti-corruption commission.

In fact, Cuomo said, his former secretary, Lawrence Schwartz, is getting such terrific offers that he'd take them himself.

"He has three fantastic offers," Cuomo said Monday during a stop in Washington Heights. "I was considering them for myself if he didn't take them."

Schwartz, who earns $181,560 a year, has been kept on the state payroll even after his resignation.

Dicker reported that employers view Schwartz as "radioactive" because he was the governor's point man in dealings with the Moreland Commission panel, which Cuomo appointed last year to battle corruption and then suddenly disbanded.

Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara is now investigating the commission's abrupt shutdown.

Cuomo ripped Dicker's account and said Schwartz was simply being paid for unused vacation days.

"The entire story was really garbage, and I know garbage because I read that paper," said Cuomo.

Spokesman Rich Azzopardi said Schwartz will be off the payroll in "early March," adding, "These facts are in contrast to the fiction attributed to 'sources' that appeared in this morning's New York Post. There are liars, there are damn liars, then there is Fred Dicker."

Dicker said his story was "solidly sourced and the facts speak for themselves."

Albany Times Union columnist Fred LeBrun said the pushback shows that Cuomo's relationship with the press is "lower . . . and less rewarding" than that of anyone in 40 years.

"I think Freddy hit a nerve there," he said. "Whenever a public official reacts the way they have to Fred, we should all take notice."


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