Cuomo Names Blackstone's Mulrow as Top Aide

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo attends a press conference about New York state's program to buy back homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and allow mother nature to reclaim the land, two years after Superstorm Sandy damaged the area, on October 29, 2014 in the Oakwood Beach neighborhood of the Staten Island Borough of New York City.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed as his top aide William Mulrow, a senior managing director at Blackstone Group LP, the world’s largest alternative asset manager.

The move comes as Cuomo, a 57-year-old Democrat, embarks on his second term. It was part of a wider staff shuffle that included the appointment of Cuomo’s budget director, Robert Megna, as the new director of the New York State Thruway Authority, operator of the largest U.S. toll road.

“New ideas and talent are critical to innovation and success,” Cuomo said in a statement e-mailed today that announced the changes. “This team will build on the extraordinary progress made over the last four years by bringing experience, energy and fresh perspectives to the table.”

Mulrow, who was Cuomo’s appointee as the chairman of the New York State Housing Finance Agency, replaces Larry Schwartz, who is leaving for the private sector. Cuomo’s closest adviser through his first term, Schwartz has been questioned by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan over the administration’s meddling with an anti-corruption panel the governor created in 2013 to probe the legislature.

Still, turnover at the beginning of a new term is typical of any administration, and Mulrow brings with him decades of political and government work. He was a senior adviser to the 1990 re-election campaign of three-term Governor Mario Cuomo, Andrew’s father who died Jan. 1, and was director of the United Nations Development Corporation, among other posts, according to Cuomo’s statement. He’ll leave Blackstone, where he was a senior managing director of the investor relations and business development group.

Tappan Zee

At the Thruway Authority, Megna will replace Tom Madison, who resigned last month. The agency is building a $4 billion replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River, among the nation’s largest infrastructure projects.

As part of building the span, the authority’s debt load may swell to more than $7 billion, from about $3.7 billion in 2013, by the time the job is finished in 2018. The agency hasn’t provided a specific plan to pay for it, according to budget documents.

Last month, the agency approved a $1.7 billion budget with a deficit of about $25 million and no plan to close it. The gap is projected to grow to $300 million in 2018, budget documents show.

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