Larry Schwartz has resigned from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board, according to Governor Kathy Hochul’s office.
The close ally of former Governor Andrew Cuomo officially stepped down from his position on the transit panel on Dec. 31, according to a spokesperson for Hochul.
“Larry Schwartz has resigned from the MTA Board, and the Governor is grateful for his public service,” Hochul’s press secretary Hazel Crampton-Hays said in a statement Tuesday.
Schwartz was a no-show at the MTA board’s Finance committee meeting Monday, which he usually chairs, and his name and position are not listed in either the committee’s book or the full board book documents.
His board profile was also removed from the MTA’s website Tuesday afternoon.
Schwartz was nominated by Cuomo and joined the board in 2015, and his term was set to expire in 2023.
After saying he was “not part of my administration,” Governor Hochul’s office in October announced that Schwartz would be leaving his position at the Authority as soon as she nominated a replacement for him to be confirmed by Albany lawmakers.
The move was part of a push by Hochul to dismiss confidantes of the disgraced ex-governor following Cuomo’s resignation in August.
On the transportation board, Schwartz was widely seen as a proxy for Cuomo and made headlines several times.
In 2019 he came close to trading blows with fellow board member and Transport Workers Union International President John Samuelsen during an expletive-laden fracas about overtime fraud.
More recently, he lobbied the board to postpone a scheduled fare hike in July in order to lure back more riders to the subways and buses still carrying only a fraction of daily trips due to the pandemic.
Schwartz previously worked as secretary for then-Gov. Cuomo during his first term in 2011, functioning as his chief of staff and most senior advisor.
He returned to the executive chamber during the COVID-19 pandemic as the governor’s “vaccine czar” to lead the state’s vaccine rollout.
During that time he notoriously called local officials to gauge their loyalty to Cuomo amid mounting sexual harassment scandals, and leaders worried that it could affect the distribution of the life-saving shots to their counties.
He ultimately left that volunteer role just as state lawmakers were set to restore provisions that would have subjected him to a two-year lobbying ban.
Currently, he’s the chief strategy officer at OTG, an airport concessions company.
On Jan. 8, Hochul announced her nomination of New York Building Congress chairperson Elizabeth Velez to fill one of the two vacancies left on the MTA board by Schwartz and former state Department of Financial Services chief Linda Lacewell, who stepped down in August soon after the ex-governor announced his resignation.
The governor also nominated Janno Lieber to become the MTA’s permanent chairperson and chief executive officer after Cuomo tapped him for the top role in an acting capacity in July.
The state Senate last week confirmed both of Hochul’s nominations, but she has yet to announce her pick for the final remaining vacancy.
“We are proud that both Janno Lieber and Elizabeth Velez have been confirmed to serve on the MTA board, and we will continue to make appointments that ensure our transit system delivers for riders,” Crampton-Hays said.
Schwartz did not respond to a request for comment.