- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 5, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York’s Senate has approved 11 new and three re-appointments to the state Court of Claims, including a former state senator and inspector general and the brother of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former chief deputy.

The Senate has also approved Dr. Howard Zucker as state health commissioner. The Health Department under his interim leadership produced last year’s analysis concluding shale gas development using high-volume hydraulic fracturing carries unacceptable health risks.

The confirmations follow appointments from the governor’s office. The Court of Claims hears injury claims against the state.

New Judges include former state Inspector General Ellen Biben of Manhattan, former state Sen. Mark Grisanti of Buffalo and Robert Schwartz, a Nassau County prosecutor and brother of Larry Schwartz, who was secretary to former Gov. David Paterson and to Cuomo.

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