At least that's the impression one would get from how Bloomberg's director of communications, Howard Wolfson, responded to questions of who was in charge:
Mayor Bloomberg's aides have given conflicting accounts of who was - or was not - in charge of municipal action as the Christmas weekend blizzard bore down on the city while Hizzoner was elsewhere.
Referring to Bloomberg and to Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith, our former colleague Errol Louis asked Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson on New York 1:
"If the deputy mayor and the mayor are not in New York, who's running the city? Who's running operations?"
Wolfson answered: "Depending on the week, whenever this was, it would be one of the other deputy mayors."
Louis followed up: "Do you know who it was?"
Wolfson: "I do not."
Yesterday, a mayoral spokesman said there is no such City Hall weekly rotation and that Bloomberg was fully in charge and in "constant contact" while he was ... elsewhere.
What kind of contact - phone, email, text message, teleconference - was there between the mayor and aides while he was ... elsewhere? How constant was it? And where exactly was ... elsewhere? The spokesman declined to say.
And that's not good enough.
What's known about Bloomberg's whereabouts and actions is that he attended midnight Mass late Friday and was next seen in the city more than 36 hours later, at 2:45 p.m. on the day after Christmas.
In between, the National Weather Service upgraded its warning to a blizzard level, the administration failed to declare a snow emergency and the Sanitation Department mobilized and embarked on its failed plowing effort.
Bloomberg promised a full accounting of what went wrong, but there are grounds for worry on that score. Amazingly, he has delegated Goldsmith, one of the architects of the fiasco, to oversee the report's preparation.
The intent appears to be to provide no detailed rundown on the mayor's command during the 36-hour hiatus - no ticktock of the information he got or the orders he gave.
New Yorkers are owed at least that information, along with where Bloomberg was. He says his private time is just that, private time. Generally, he is correct. But in this instance, his private time became public time.
Bloomberg also says that, thanks to technology, his location was irrelevant. The public should be the judge of that, not him.
Where was Bloomberg for those 36 hours the Daily News cannot account for?
Why won't Bloomberg say where he was?
And where was deputy mayor Stephen Goldsmith during the storm?
Why won't he account for where he was?
What's the big secret Bloomberg and Goldsmith are hiding?
There needs to be an INDEPENDENT investigation of Bloomberg's handling of the mess and an accounting of where he was.
Goldsmith does not get to conduct the investigation.
Bloomberg does not get to conduct the investigation.
They get investigated.