According to the Wall Street Journal, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has placed calls to top staffers for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others working to find a replacement for just-resigned New York Department of Financial Services head Benjamin Lawsky. Apparently Warren’s advice is choose Rohit Chopra, the student loan ombudsman and assistant director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who just notified the bureau of his plans to resign this week.
Chopra has not yet announced his future plans.
Elizabeth Warren is clearly backing Chopra
A spokesperson for Senator Warren had no comment on whether the senator had contacted the Cuomo administration or others on Chopra’s behalf, but did mention a June 1st Facebook post in which Warren endorsed Chopra to succeed Lawsky.
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“He is smart as a whip, independent, hard-working, and loaded with integrity,” Warren wrote in her post. “The New York banking superintendent is an important overseer of Wall Street, and I think Rohit would be phenomenal in that role.”
More on Lawsky resignation and search for replacement
Lawsky resigned as the superintendent for the New York Department of Financial Services on Tuesday of this week. He gained a reputation as the “Sheriff of Wall Street” for his aggressive pursuit of financial crimes and for bringing in billions of dollars in settlements to the state.
The WSJ article notes that it us uncertain if Warren has spoken directly with Governor Cuomo or just communicated through aides. Just how seriously the Cuomo administration and other parties to the search for Lawsky’s successor are considering Chopra is also unclear.
The appointment of Lawsky’s successor is a pretty big deal politically speaking. Lawsky not only brought in a ton of money through settlements with banks, he also turned NYDFS into a household word through his enforcement actions. Knowledgeable sources say he was also a key member of Cuomo’s inner circle of advisers.
Of note, Lawsky plans to launch his own consulting and legal firm.
A spokesperson for Cuomo declined to comment on the ongoing search to for a new NYDFS superintendent.