Deputy Mayor DV Cover-Upon October 5, 2011 at 2:19 am
by Chris Bilal
As the city gears up for increased surveillance and access to that information, one staffer close to mayor Bloomberg has avoided scrutiny for his criminal record. In fact, one might deign to call it a coverup by the increasingly ” no comment” mayors office.
Last month, an aide to the mayor was charged in a domestic dispute with his wife. Days later, the aide, deputy mayor Stephen Goldsmith abruptly resigned from his post and the mayors office sent out the run-of-the-mill “im retiring to the private sector to make even more money” byline.
But like most people who resign to spend more time with their family or to go into the private sector, the aide had run afoul of the law. Goldsmith wasn’t returning to his old stomping grounds at the Indianapolis’ mayor’s office. He had actually been charged with beating his wife.
Unfortunately, this nasty spat came as Bloomberg’s office was patting itself on the back for the city’s recent domestic violence initiatives. Seeking to blunt the impact of wifebeater headlines on the mayor’s office, Goldberg resigned and his pal Bloomberg let him do it with the dignity that eluded Spitzer and Weiner. Aware that Goldberg was in trouble with the law, Mayor Bloomberg stood quietly as the once lionized deputy mayor resigned without revealing the true nature of what they led us to believe was a routine resignation.
Now letting a family heal and grieve in private is understandable, but when you are a public official of one of the most public cities in the world, the notion of political privacy is comedic and even that assumption comes second to accountability to the public you serve.
After the bombshell was revealed and Bloomberg could no longer pretend that his friend was rolling his sleeves up elsewhere, he conspicuously avoided the media for a week only to give a nonchalant press conference where, in typical Bloomberg style, he unapologetically acknowledged the incident and half-answered limited softball questions.
Instead of admitting that his office was complicit in yet another city hall cover up, he stood by his frequent decision to remain tight lipped as rules are broken in City Hall. Instead of admitting that his office lacks the slightest resemblance of transparency that he enforces upon everyone else, he characterizes his actions not as a cover up but as an act of compassion for his friend. Mayor Bloomberg has once again put his loyalties to interests above the interests of voters.
Granted, suspicion of financial or marital infidelity may be obvious to seasoned news junkies when a public official resigns to the free market. But to the people of New York, who place great faith in their leaders- being untruthful about why you are stepping down is a slap in the face to the people who saw you as a cost cutting, revivalist savior to the city. Domestic violence is serious and has historically been swept under the rug until someone spills the secret. Ironically, the same administration that wants to raise awareness about domestic violence, are complicit in hiding it