Liu has to take Bloomberg, the DOE and the city Law Department Contracts Division to court to force this issue.
The city Department of Education evaded state law to pay a controversial consultant $287,500, officials with the city controller's office charge.
Even after the Education Department's $20 million teacher-recruitment contract with The New Teacher Project got rejected in March on technical grounds, the city sneaked through three payments last month, the officials charge.
"We have requested a meeting with DOE to address their persistent attempts to circumvent the Education Law and pay outside consultants without registered contracts," said Mike Loughran, a spokesman for Controller John Liu.
A review by Liu's office after it discovered the New Teacher Project payments found that the city Department of Education also attempted to pay $1.3 million to Wireless Generation.
Liu's office blocked that payment because it had rejected the Wireless Generation contract earlier this month, saying Klein had not filed a necessary letter recusing himself from involvement in the contract.
The city Law Department and the city Department of Education, however, consider both contracts to be valid and are not recognizing the controller's rejection.
In a Wednesday letter to Deputy Controller Geneith Turnbull, city Law Department Contracts Division Chief Steven Stein Cushman blasts the controller's attempts to thwart its deal with The New Teacher Project, calling it "not consistent with the Education Law.
"Accordingly, the DOE rejected your return of the [New Teacher Project] contract and deemed the [New Teacher Project] Contract registered," he wrote.
The DOE does NOT get to circumvent the law just because they want to pay off cronies at the New Teacher Project and Wireless Generation.
The Law Department Contracts Division does NOT get to declare a contract legal when the controller has rejected it.
And the Klein connection just smells bad.
In fact, the Klein connection needs to be looked at very closely.
How much of the $1.3 million DOE contract money does Klein get, either directly or indirectly, as a News Corp. employee overseeing Rupert Murdoch's K-12 online education division?
Klein himself signed this contract with Wireless Generation when he was chancellor and now stands to profit from it working for News Corp. overseeing Wireless Generation.
The impropriety on the face of it is bad.
Worse is the DOE's insistence on making these payments when the controller has rejected the contract because Klein refused to recuse himself from the contract.
In the same week that Bloomberg continued to threaten layoffs for thousands of teachers and STILL is cutting school budgets to the bone and forcing class sizes ever higher, how is it that he gets to hand out this contract money to consultants and cronies when the controller has rejected them?
He gets to do it because nobody takes him to court for it.
John Liu needs to remedy that forthwith.
In fact, this might be a job for the U.S. attorney's office as well.
Given the corruption that has been endemic with many of the outside consultant contracts handed out by the Bloomberg administration, any other contract that smells this bad on the face of it may just be as rotten as the CityTime Project contracts, the Willard Lanham contract and the Judith Hederman scandal.