Why do Joel Klein and Mayor Moneybags insist on doing business with a mobbed up bus company that carts kids to school?
Let's see if we fully understand this: Department of Education transportation chief Eric Goldstein won an order of protection against Atlantic Express owner Domenic Gatto -- who runs some 25 percent of the city's school buses -- after Gatto produced a gun during the talks.
And the talks, as best can be determined, continue?
One more time, for emphasis: Gatto pulls a gun and DOE keeps talking?
It gets an order of protection?
For its negotiator?
Okay, we'll ask: Who the hell's protecting the kids?
It is utterly astonishing that the city continued any relationship with Gatto for one nanosecond after the gun came out -- especially given the school-bus cartel's long history of mob-related corruption.
For all we know, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein ended up with a horse's head in his bed and opted to keep talking.
Now, it's good that Gatto was charged with menacing, harassment and reckless endangerment. Charges are pending.
Yet when queried about Gatto's future relationship with DOE (his current contract expires in June), the department said it "cannot comment on the status of any negotiations."
The key word being "negotiations." It's hard to take that to mean anything other than that DOE is still talking with guys who carry guns to the table.
This shouldn't be difficult: You pull a gun, you lose any chance of a city contract -- and it's profoundly troubling that Team Bloomberg won't say so publicly.
Gatto's lawyer, of course, maintains his client did nothing wrong: "The gun was never removed from its holster. No one was threatened, nobody was menaced."
Sure -- and cement shoes are just a fashion accessory.
DOE needs to cut this guy loose.
Klein wants to fire the ATR's and senior teachers making $90,000 or more a year but won't cut off negotiations with a convicted mobster who pulled a gun during contract negotiations.
Somebody needs to investigate Klein.
There has to be a reason why the DOE continues to negotiate with Domenic Gatto.
And I bet it's got $ signs all over it.