Bloomberg On The Defensive Over Deputy Mayor's Resignation

PoliticsDomestic ViolenceWeatherCrimeMichael BloombergGun Control

Being mayor means never having to say you're sorry -- at least, that's Mayor Bloomberg's take on the mushrooming controversy over how he handled the resignation of a key deputy mayor, who was accused of domestic violence.

For the second straight Sunday, Mayor Bloomberg is dealing with a storm -- not a hurricane, but rather a storm of controversy -- over what happened.

"I make no apologies for either the fact Mr. Goldsmith has left city service or for treating the Goldsmith family with basic decency as he left," said Bloomberg in his first comments since the bombshell report announcing that former Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith resigned after his arrest for domestic violence.

During the Mayor's 12-minute news conference in the parking lot of Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, the mayor twice refused to apologize for misleading New Yorkers over the Deputy Mayor's arrest and resignation.

Bloomberg along with his team of crisis management heavyweights emerged from the typhoon of controversy that has paralyzed his office since Thursday morning by orchestrating the Sunday morning news conference to capitalize on what traditionally is a slow holiday weekend for the media.

During the Q&A tap dance, the mayor refused to acknowledge that he's been a hypocrite with his lack of transparency surrounding Goldsmith's arrest, his resignation, and the programs the Mayor's office has launched in the past month. One initiative launched on August 17th by the "The Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence" is aimed to generate more awareness to New Yorkers about domestic violence.

When asked why he didn't make New Yorkers aware of Goldsmith's Washington D.C. arrest for domestic violence days before the launch of his program to generate more awareness? Bloomberg ducked the question by saying, "I'm not familiar with what the charges are in Washington. We have never talked to anybody in Washington. We are very careful to never discuss what was going on in Washington, because it would be totally inappropriate and there could be an allegation that we would tried to influence the decisions being made down there."

Yet Bloomberg's track record shows the complete opposite when it comes to other well known New Yorkers and critical comments after they've been arrested. Plaxico Burress is arguably the most notable example of this. While Burress is not a city official, to millions he is a city hero.

In the days following his arrest -- where he injured only himself -- the Mayor was front and center saying, "It would be an outrage if we don't prosecute it to the fullest extent of the law?" The irony with Burress is that he was signed by the New York Jets, the day after the Goldsmith arrest on July 30. Yet Bloomberg opted to remain silent. When grilled on the discrepancy, Mayor Bloomberg said that, "Burress got arrested in New York City for violating a New York State/New York City rules on gun possession. Plaxico Buress served his time and he's now playing for the New York Jets."

When asked in a follow-up if New Yorkers should know if their Deputy Mayor has been arrested? Bloomberg responded by saying, "I'd always assumed it would come up, but it's not my responsibility to spread a story."Yet Bloomberg did jump out in front of the Burress trial --- the Monday morning after his arrest --- and told the DA's office what he was expecting out of them.

The news conference ended with the Mayor saying, "Any other topics, I think we've had enough." Just like that. No more questions allowed.

One big question that Bloomberg can't control is the one from his bosses --- the hard-working taxpayers of New York City. Are they ready to let Mayor Bloomberg off that easy? Unlike whether or not the Goldsmith would get out, Bloomberg can't assume the answer to this one.

The mayor hung his hat on transparency -- yet he now wants to pivot and change the talking points --- by saying he's done with this. It just leaves so many asking, where is the transparency he's been a champion for?

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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PoliticsDomestic ViolenceWeatherCrimeMichael BloombergGun Control