Cuomo caught between de Blasio, cop unions over bill making officer discipline part of collective bargaining

ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo again finds himself between Mayor de Blasio and the city’s powerful police unions.

Cuomo has until late January to sign or kill legislation opposed by de Blasio that would give police unions a say in how officers are disciplined.

Since 2006, the police commissioner has had sole discretion over the disciplining of rogue officers, thanks to a ruling by the state’s highest court.

The police unions strongly support the bill to make discipline a part of the collective bargaining process. But critics say any change would make it more difficult to punish bad cops by likely putting the final decisions in the hands of outside arbitrators.

Mayor de Blasio opposes the legislation.

“The NYPD staunchly opposes the bill, as does the administration,” a de Blasio source said Sunday.

It’s another divide between the mayor’s office and the police unions that flared up after Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, was killed in a chokehold in July by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

Two police officers were later assassinated by a crazed madman, and some officers blamed de Blasio’s rhetoric in the days after the grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo.

Cuomo in recent weeks has called for City Hall and the unions to tamp down the tension.

A Cuomo spokesman said Sunday the governor will review the bill. But Cuomo has vetoed similar legislation in the past.

Tensions have flared between the mayor’s office and the police unions after Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, was killed in a chokehold in July by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo.
The state Senate reconvenes on Wednesday — and this time, Republicans are fully in control.

The power surge comes after two years of sharing power with a breakaway group of Democrats led by Sen. Jeffrey Klein.

Klein’s Independent Democratic Conference will maintain its status as a caucus — with the funding and staff that come with it, under a pending deal with the GOP. Members will also get committee chairmanships.

Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Nassau County) will be the sole Senate president when the state Senate convenes again on Wednesday.

But the conference will no longer have a formal say on what bills can come to the floor for a vote, Senate GOP sources say.

“The members were insistent on that,” said one Republican senator.

Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Nassau County) will also be the sole Senate president after sharing the title with Klein the past two years. Klein will instead have the title of co-leader of the Senate GOP-independent Dem coalition, sources say.

Sen. Jeffrey Klein will have the title of co-leader of the Senate GOP-independent Dem coalition, sources say.

Klein, under the deal, will also have a “voice” in the state budget talks, one GOP source said. But with the Republicans controlling a majority of the chamber, “obviously they can do a budget on their own,” the source said.

The rules will be voted on on Wednesday.

Another insider said the breakaway Dems won’t help control the agenda like they did the past two years, but they do expect to be able to get some bills to the floor — though not contentious proposals like the public financing of campaigns that is being pushed by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

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State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has lost his deputy communications director after about 18 months to a highly influential political consulting firm.

Andrew Friedman, a former news editor at WCBS-TV, starts Monday as a vice president at Berlin Rosen, which has strong ties to Mayor de Blasio and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The firm also has done work for Schneiderman and Gov. Cuomo.

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