Gov. Cuomo will put the New York Racing Association out of its scandal-scarred misery “promptly” after the historic Saratoga Race Track meet that begins this Friday, The Post has learned.So wrote the governor's biographer, one Frederik U. Dicker, in the Paper of Wreckage on July 16 “As soon as the season ends, the shift will be promptly made," said the "source with direct knowledge of the planned action" which I guess he/she was wrong about.
Current NYRA President/CEO Ellen McClain will be fired as part of the transformation as soon as the meet ends on Sept. 3, the source said.Of course, now that I've written this, it will probably happen before the ink is dry....so to speak, y'know. But still, even so, the meet ended on Sept 3, now we're into Wednesday of the following week and haven't heard even a rumbling. In fact, Rep. Gary Pretlow, the chairman of the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee, told bizjournals. com: “Oct. 1 is the date everybody’s been talking about with me.” This is surely not the scenario that Dicker's source was attempting to convey. Perhaps the governor has gotten
Come to think of it, nor have we seen the task force report on the Big A winter breakdowns which was supposed to be released prior to the Travers. Nor, for that matter, the result of the investigation into the takeout mess, the Final Straw that precipitated this entire turn of events. Hmm. Could it be that the task force found nothing insidious about the spate of fatalities? Or that investigators found that Charlie Hayward made an error in judgment but surely had no intent to illegally deprive horseplayers of a few extra bucks that most of them would have thrown back into the pools anyway?
The governor meanwhile has been busy defending the Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's handling of a secret....or, make that "confidential," at least according to Cuomo....payment to make sexual harassment charges against a powerful legislator go away.
"Sheldon Silver signs secret deal," Cuomo said in a mocking voice. "Beautiful, poetic, except it wasn't true and it wasn't accurate and it wasn't right. It wasn't a secret deal.""The public didn't know about it," Dicker interjected.
"Well, it had a confidentiality [component]," Cuomo said. "It wasn't a secret deal done by the speaker. It wasn't. You put that in your column three times, again. Except that it wasn't."
"What was it?" Dicker asked. [Capitol New York]
And that's when it got really good. (Audio of the show is here, with this exchange about 3/4s of the way through.) The governor proceeded to throw two members of his administration under the bus.
"It wasn't a secret deal done by Sheldon Silver, where people would just think it was Sheldon Silver [who] signed a secret deal. It was a secret deal reviewed by the attorney general's office and implemented by the comptroller's office."Cuomo added that those gentlemen's acquiescence in the matter made it "even worse." That is particularly funny, because they both have gone out of the way to minimize their own personal involvement. Now they are additional targets of the new state ethics panel.
The governor has never been a member of the AG Eric Schneiderman's fan club. But the role of Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a leading voice in this administration's chorus of bluster against NYRA, is of particular interest. DiNapoli owes his current office entirely to the Speaker himself, who went to the mat for him against another (at that particular point in time) powerful governor. I wonder if he would have been as aloof as he claims he was in this matter if NYRA had processed a payment to settle a sexual harassment charges against one of its employees. Can you just imagine if a similar incident had occurred there?