This Week’s Headlines: Going, going, gone
Ponte bails out
Joseph Ponte, the New York City correction commissioner who came on to clean up Rikers Island but was sidelined by recent scandals, resigned retired on Friday. Mayor Bill de Blasio stood by Ponte amid allegations that he broke the rules by taking frequent trips out of state in a city-issued SUV and failing to report an underling who spied on city investigators, but the commissioner opted to retire.
Pigeonholed by prosecutors
G. Steven Pigeon, the veteran Western New York political operative, was hit with another set of charges last week as federal prosecutors accused him of illegally funneling a Canadian company’s $25,000 campaign contribution to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Pigeon rejected the allegations, and there’s no evidence the Cuomo administration did anything wrong, but the governor can’t be happy about being linked to yet another associate in legal trouble.
Former FBI Director James B. Comey speaks at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in 2016. (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
President Donald Trump’s latest action that left congressional Republicans scrambling to respond was the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Rep. John Faso called it “unsurprising” given Comey’s role in the Hillary Clinton email investigation, but “shocking” since the FBI’s politically sensitive probe into Russian election meddling is ongoing. Rep. Chris Collins backed the move, noting the director serves at “the pleasure of the president.”