DEC chief axed

GrannisGrannisPete Grannis, the head of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, was abruptly shown the door today by Governor David Paterson. Capitol Confidential has the scoop, and it's a doozy, with juicy inter-agency emails and lots of anger. Check out this exchange between Larry Schwartz, the governor's top aide, and Grannis:

“Schwartz followed that with an email that stated, “It’s unfortunate that you have not contacted me tonight as we discussed in my office earlier today. This is to remind you that you are not to report to work tomorrow. If I don’t hear back from you by 10am tomorrow a press release will go out without your input. Failure to comply with this request and what I discussed with you today will result in your immediate termination tomorrow morning and the press release will reflect that.”

What was it that got the governor so mad that he had to get rid of the state's top environmental official so fast?

It wasn't anything about natural gas drilling, arguably the biggest issue the DEC is facing this year. Instead, it was a leaked memo detailing how strapped for personnel and cash the DEC is, which was the basis for a damning Times-Union article this week.