Governors don’t usually fire their emergency management officials in times of natural disaster, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo pretty much had to dismiss Steven Kuhr, the former director of the State Office of Emergency Management, who ordered a crew to his Long Island house to remove a tree from his driveway during Hurricane Sandy. For a guy threatening to yank utility licenses of companies moving too slow to restore power after the storm, it would look pretty darned bad for Cuomo to let something like that slide in his own administration. Especially frustrating: Kuhr wasn’t even home when he ordered the tree removed.
“During the storm, Mr. Kuhr, who lives in Suffolk County, was working in Albany. At a time when work crews were in high demand, he is believed to have told the Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management to clear a tree from his driveway, an administration official said,” according to the Times, which broke the story.
Kuhr’s Twitter account has been disabled, he hasn’t answered the phone for the Times or the Associated Press or the Daily News. His wife, Kerri Kuhr, wasn’t available in her office at an emergency management consulting firm when the Times called there. But Brooklyn State Sen. Martin Goldman, a Republican, sure had something to say. Per the Times:
“I’ve got people sitting in their homes with two inches of snow outside, they have no electricity, no hot water, they’re sitting in their homes and freezing to death,” Mr. Golden said.
“This guy’s only worried about his own home? It’s sad. The governor made the right call.”
Imagine the flap if Cuomo hadn’t fired Kuhr. You can’t run for president in 2016 with decisions like that on your record.