Did Andrew Cuomo yesterday send Gladys Carrion’s many upstate detractors a message that he’s going to keep her around after he takes office?
Cuomo had Carrion by his side as the Governor-Elect toured Tryon Boys Residential Center yesterday, an upstate juvenile facility that we first reported is fully-staffed, even though it is slated for closure and no longer has any inmates.
Union contracts require that the 129 staff members at Tryon be given a year’s notice before the place is shut down, even without any inmates to watch.
As the Daily News reported, Cuomo called the situation at Tryon “ridiculous.” An extreme waste of government tax dollars at a time when the state is in a budget crisis.
That sure sounds like something of an endorsement of Carrion, who, we pointed out in a cover story, is reviled by many upstate for how many facilities she is trying to close, just like Tryon. (Carrion’s agency, the Office of Children and Family Services, recently reached a settlement with the Justice Department over child abuse that took place in the facilities before Carrion came on board.)
Unions such as the Public Employees Federation (PEF) have staged a very nasty public battle against Carrion and her policies.
Cuomo has been pressured not to reappoint Carrion — a former children’s defense lawyer who hails from the Bronx. With the image of Cuomo walking side by side with Carrion yesterday, it looks like the Governor-Elect may have made his decision. And that decision isn’t just to reappoint the firey Bronx bureaucrat: it’s to turn facilities like Tryon into a supreme example of his larger campaign promise to clean up inefficiency in Albany.