The Goldsmith Fallout
September 1st, 2011
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s handling of the hurricane/tropical storm last week gave him a respite from the media criticism that has plagued much of his third term.
That probably came to an abrupt end this morning when the New York Post reported that Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith suddenly resigned last month not because he saw tempting opportunities in the private sector and not because of his botched handling of the last big storm Ė you remember, the blizzard Ė but because he spent two nights in a Washington, D.C. jail arising from a domestic violence complaint.
The Bloomberg administration knew the former mayor of Indianapolis, darling of the privatization crowd and high-level city official had spent time in jail. And, as the Wall Street Journal wrote today, “Goldsmithís arrest precipitated his sudden departure from City Hall.”
Charges were dropped. In a statement released today, Goldsmith said he was innocent, and a statement by his wife seems to support that, calling the arrest “a big mistake.” (That may well be true, but it also is true that that many battered women later deny the violence ever took place.) Despite all that, Goldsmith said he resigned so as “not to be a distraction to the mayor and his important agenda for the city.”
At the press conference announcing Goldsmith’s departure, neither Bloomberg nor Goldsmith breathed a word about Goldsmith’s domestic travails. Instead Bloomberg praised his former right-hand man, saying, “As New Yorkers, we were extraordinarily lucky to have Steve Goldsmith make our city government more innovative and efficient.”
The way Bloomberg handled Goldsmith’s departure is now coming under criticism.
Who and what they’re saying after the jump.
Calling himself “deeply troubled” by the news, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer issued a statement saying, “The mayor and his staff should give a full accounting of what they knew and when they knew it. ‘No comment’ is not an acceptable response. The deputy mayor for operations isn’t just another aide — the position is directly responsible for oversight of the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies that routinely confront the issue of domestic violence.”
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, like Stringer a possible 2013 mayoral candidate, agreed. “While Deputy Mayor Goldsmith’s resignation was more than appropriate given the circumstances, New Yorkers deserve a full airing of the facts known to the administration,” he told the Daily News
Whatever happened — and happens – the news seems likely to push Irene to the background at least among the political class and bring back talk of two bÍte noires of Bloomberg’s third term: the blizzard and the rise and fall of two high-profile appointees: Goldsmith and schools Chancellor Cathleen Black
And what is it with domestic violence and New York pols these days?By Gail Robinson on September 1, 2011, 1:16 pm
In category: City Hall, Crime & Safety, Gotham City | 6 Comments »