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Quinn, Thompson Exchange Barbs Over His Comptroller Record

by Gotham Gazette Staff, Aug 06, 2013
 

The three top Democratic nominees for mayor who are not named Anthony Weiner are jousting over their records as if he doesn't matter anymore.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn took aim today at former Comptroller Bill Thompson. Asked about her reaction to a New York Times report on Thompson's time in office, specifically an attempt in 2008 to invest $150 million into a Northern Ireland development scheme benefiting a Thompson friend and campaign contributor.

"We now have more than one example of taxpayer money being lost while Comptroller Thompson was the comptroller and it really raises a question of what was going on in that office and who was or was not in charge," Quinn said today at an unrelated press event.

The Northern Ireland deal didn't go through. Thompson's successor, John Liu, shut the plan down in 2010 — but not before having to spend $3 million in taxpayer money to cancel the deal.

Thompson had an almost immediate response.

"I am more than happy to talk about people's records; I'm proud of mine," he wrote in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

"As comptroller, I led efforts to increase the city pension funds by $20 billion," Thompson continued. "While I was doing that, Chris Quinn was using a corrupt slush fund to park taxpayer dollars in phony charities to buy political support and running the City Council budget in a way that rewarded her friends and punished those who disagreed with her."

Quinn also brought up the controversial CityTime contract that cost New Yorkers $500 million, and which Liu also shut down.

"This loss of taxpayer money follows on the heels of the CityTime losses," she said. "And I think it's yet another example of things in the comptroller's office falling through the cracks, not being appropriately taken care of when Bill Thompson was in the comptroller's office. And I think that is a record that the voters need to look at."

Thompson said in early July admitted that he wished he "had done more" on CityTime while comptroller,

Recently, Thompson has also gotten into verbal spars with another rival for the Democratic mayoral nomination, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who experienced a boost in the polls as Weiner's support flagged amid new revelations involving his sexting habit. The two "Bills" squared off multiple times on the City Council bill to strengthen a ban on racial profiling.

 


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