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New York State emergency management director axed. News reports say Steve Kuhr sent government crew to clean up tree at his Long Island home.

Steve Kuhr.  

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has fired his $153,000-a-year emergency management director for diverting a crew to remove a tree from his Long Island home’s driveway after Superstorm Sandy hit, a state official said Wednesday.

Director of Emergency Management Steven Kuhr was fired after the governor was told that Kuhr called a Suffolk County crew to remove a fallen tree from his driveway, according to the official. Kuhr was working in Albany at the time last week, shortly after Sandy hit.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the personnel decision wasn’t announced. A spokesman for Cuomo declined to comment. The New York Times first reported the action (click here for New York Times story) .

Cuomo appointed Kuhr in October 2011 as executive deputy commissioner of the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

There was no answer at Kuhr’s office Wednesday night and a phone number listed in his name was not working.

The action comes as Cuomo has bitterly criticized utilities for what he said has been slow progress restoring power to customers from the Hudson Valley through Long Island. Most of the power has been restored to more than 2 million customers who lost electricity because of Sandy, though lights started flickering off again Wednesday night as a new storm raked the region.

Kuhr previously was president of Strategic Emergency Group, a consulting firm that had contracts with New York City, the state and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, according to the news release announcing his appointment. Kuhr had also worked for New York City for 20 years including with the fire department. 

Copyright ©2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Legeros

    Would love to know the details on this one. Particularly, if it’s a “hey, can that crew swing by here, and help me cut and move a tree, so I can get my vehicle out, and get on the road to start my duties” instance.

    That said, in the eyes of a judgmental public, would that even matter?

    • Legeros

      Had I read the story more closely, I would see some of those details right there and in front of my eyes! Not at home when storm struck…

  • the ear

    He got exactly what he deserved.People are suffering up there and he thinks he can do anything with no repercussions.

  • http://none Engine 5er

    He is in Albany working. I’ll bet family in LI, alone. There is nothing wrong with sending a crew to check on home. We do it all the time. You cannot focus on work if your family is in trouble.

  • retired medic

    I guess when he was hired, common sense was not a requirement?

  • D Schaefer

    Good job gov.


    Just guessing, but this judgment call might not be highlighted in his next job application.

  • Mack Seagrave

    This guy was a career political hack. He worked as a suit for the old N.Y.C. Health & Hospitals Corp. run E.M.S. It says he also worked for the F.D.. If that’s so, it was at the end of his time with E.M.S. when the Mayor merged E.M.S. with the F.D.N.Y..

  • Too Old To Work

    What a maroon!

    Don’t worry thought, he’ll land another job on the public payroll sooner or later.