Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters today that he did not pay enough attention as about $600 million was allegedly stolen from CityTime, the city's automated payroll system.
So far, authorities have charged 11 people, including one corporation, in connection with the massive fraud involving CityTime, which was designed to cut down on payroll waste and abuse.
Speaking at the New York City Civic Corps graduation ceremony at Gracie Mansion today, the mayor said the system should have been monitored more carefully.
"Certainly nobody paid as much attention to it as they should have, from me on down, and we're going to find out who did what," said Bloomberg. "A lot of it is 'should have, would have and could have,' I think it's fair to say, and we should have watched it more carefully and hopefully we learn and don't make the same mistake again."
The CityTime scandal is one of the largest frauds against the city, rivaling the corruption under 19th century Mayor William "Boss" Tweed.
Bloomberg's taking "partial responsibility" for the CityTime scandal is like a woman being "partially pregnant."
The mayor either is responsible for the contracts his government has with private contractors and is in charge of oversight of said contracts or he's not.
My reading of city law is that the mayor is, indeed, in charge of those things (though the City Controller's office does play a role and former Controller Bill Thompson was woefully inadequate in that job.)
Nonetheless, the city was made aware of problems in the CityTime project as far back as 2005 and Bloomberg did nothing about it.
So for him to say that he is only partially responsible for this mess is just jive.
Given that the CityTime scandal, as NY1 duly notes, "is one of the largest frauds against the city, rivaling the corruption under 19th century William "Boss" Tweed," and given that $600 million has disappeared from the city coffers and into the pockets (and bank accounts) of crooks, Bloomberg's taking "partial responsibility" for the scandal is not good enough.
I should add that there are other scandals involving city contracts, outside consultants and a startling lack of city oversight that are being investigated as well.
CityTime is just the tip of the scandal is just the tip of the scandal iceberg for the Bloomberg administration.
When you look at the various DOE scandals involving the tech consultants and when the school construction contracts are investigated. you will see that Bloomberg's legacy as mayor of New York City will be analogous to Boss Tweed's legacy.
He bears full responsibility for these scandals.
The mayor loves to point the "accountability finger" at others, like teachers and principals in the NYC school system.
But when it comes to taking responsibility for his own government and it's lack of oversight of these outside consultant contracts, he is still refusing to say the buck stops with him.
Oh, Harry Truman, where are you now?
A victimized city turns its lonely eyes to you, whoo-whoo-whoo...
A strong, accountable leader takes FULL responsibility for his actions and non-actions. This Sissy-Mary of a mayor will have an everlasting legacy built around cowardice, intimidation, greed and theft. Even Bernie Madoff turned himself in. Do us all a favor and check yourself in.ReplyDelete
The mayor should take responsibility and he should step down, too. His lack of supervision over the city's finances brought about the lost of so much money and because of that there are layoffs. So families are financially hurt and the mayor feels that saying mea culpa is an acceptable form of absolution. No, not at all. He must step down and the people should demand his resignation.ReplyDelete
The DOE has its finger on the trigger when it comes to drumming up "incompetence" cases against teachers, while at the same time, the public is expected to overlook one of the largest cases of fraud in the city's history and just give Bloomberg a great big group hug. Bloomberg's sneering class arrogance on display again. Gosh, it's hard to find good help these days!ReplyDelete
A minor historical correction regarding NY!'s report: Tweed was never mayor. He was the a member of the House of representatives and the state senate, but most important he was the leader (or Grand Sachem) of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party machine that controlled government in the city.ReplyDelete
As for comparisons, my guess is that, in addition to the Thanksgiving turkeys Tammany would distribute to the poor, they probably circulated a lot more of their ill-gotten gains locally than Bloomberg does. Most of these consulting companies that are looting the city aren't even located here.
I watched a clip of Bloombuck$ on Channel 1 tonight. He accepted SOME of the blame in his usual bored, whiny, petulant manner. As the Channel 1 reporter said, "It was a mea culpa--of sorts." And, as usual, Mayor4Life pretty much acted like it was no big deal--said, more-or-less, that when you have big contracts like this fraud is bound to happen sometimes. Ya know, shit happens. What are you going to do? They're already bragging about getting a fraction of the money back. I don't think the poor will be getting any Thanksgiving turkeys--or much of anything else, however. BTW,I liked the Simon and Garfunkel parody at the end of your post, RBE.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the correction on Tweed, Michael.ReplyDelete
Back in my twenties, I used to read all about 18th and 19th century New York history - I had this idea that I might try my hand at a historical novel set somewhere in that time period. So I am pretty sure I used to know that about Tweed. But now it's twenty years later and my memory is fading a bit! But somebody at NY1 should have known to correct it before it aired in the report.
My unrepentant teenager does a much better, and less sophmoric mea maxima culpa than Bloomberg. We need to take a brillo pad to Bloomberg's teflon armorness!ReplyDelete
The REAL DEAL here is that, since he's bastardized democracy in this town, and has made the once contentious NY Press his plaything, Heir Mayor doesn't get hammered in the rags AT ALL. There are no front page headlines, and little to no direct, hard ball questioning of this tyrant.ReplyDelete
It's sickening to watch, and listen to. Heir Mayor, and his interests will be running this town for the next few decades, at least, whether he's physically here, or not.
Very sad...there used to be a democracy here...
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