New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo reportedly fired his emergency management chief after learning that the official sent public employees to his house to clear a fallen tree in the driveway in the middle of Superstorm Sandy.
Steven Kuhr, the head of the New York Emergency Management Office, was responsible for coordinating the response to disasters like Superstorm Sandy, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Kuhr was appointed by Cuomo in 2011. Before this, he was the CEO at Strategic Emergency Group LLC. Tree clearing crews like the one sent to Kuhr’s house have been in high demand in the aftermath of the storm, which killed power to almost 8.5 million homes in 21 states. Almost 200,000 homes are still without power, according to the Long Island Power Authority.
Kuhr was in Albany, New York when he learned that a tree had been knocked down in his driveway during the storm. He called the Suffolk County Emergency Management Office and asked them to remove the tree, according to an aide of Governor Cuomo.
The aide refused to give their name because they were not allowed to publicly discuss the matter. The aide added that Cuomo fired Kuhr after he learned of the incident.
The New York Times notes that before his work with the Strategic Emergency Group, Steven Kuhr spent 20 years working for New York City in various positions including deputy director for operations and planning for the Office of Emergency Management.
State Senator Martin Golden, a Brooklyn Republican whose district still has about 2,000 people without power, believes that the head of the New York Emergency Management Office’s move was “definitely an abuse of power.” Kuhr was not available for a comment regarding the situation.
Do you think that Andrew Cuomo was right to fire Steven Kuhr for having emergency crews remove a tree from his driveway in the middle of Superstorm Sandy?