NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says former deputy mayor Stephen Goldsmith, who quit after being arrested on a domestic violence charge, would have otherwise been fired.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports
Stephen Goldsmith, then-deputy mayor for operations, was charged with assaulting his wife after a fight in their Washington, D.C. home on July 30. He spent two days in jail before resigning.
“I did upon learning of Mr. Goldsmith’s arrest made two decisions. The first was that given the high standards we set for public service and the serious circumstances surrounding his arrest. Mr. Goldsmith could no longer continue to work at City Hall. And the second, I did not believe it was right for our administration to put out a story about an incident that had the potential to bring even more suffering to the Goldsmith family,” Bloomberg said.
“As a former employee, I, not the mayor, should have more fully disclosed the reasons for my resignation. I thought the immediacy of my resignation mooted the need for further explanation. I was wrong. I regret the criticism of the mayor for his support of my family,” Goldsmith said in a statement Sunday.
The mayor said he first learned of Goldsmith’s arrest the following day, a Sunday. He said after Goldsmith was released from jail, he met with Bloomberg Monday morning at City Hall.
Goldsmith offered his resignation and the mayor accepted it.
Bloomberg said the accusation “made it intolerable” for Goldsmith to stay employed by the city but said despite the allegations against Goldsmith, he wanted to treat him fairly and that’s why he didn’t initially say Goldsmith was leaving because of an arrest.
Bloomberg makes no apologies for releasing a statement that said the deputy mayor was leaving to pursue private sector opportunities, rather than revealing his arrest.
“I have long believed that public officials that are all too willing to humiliate the people that work for them, whenever it’s publicly convenient or politically advantageous is an outrage and I refuse to play that game,” he said.
“My highest and first obligation is to the people of this city and that is why Mr. Goldsmith is no longer working with us,” Bloomberg said Sunday after speaking at a church service in Brooklyn. “But I also believe as an employer, employers have a responsibility to treat employees with some consideration and that is how I built my business, that’s how we run this government and that’s how we will continue to do so.”
“The mayor has this backwards: His first obligation is to protect the public, not to protect a staff member,” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said Sunday in a statement.
The mayor says Goldsmith offered his resignation in a meeting between the two men the day after the arrest. Had he not, “I would have terminated him,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg has come under criticism from the city’s public advocate because the arrest wasn’t mentioned when it was announced Goldsmith was leaving. Bloomberg had claimed Goldsmith was leaving to pursue “private sector opportunities.”
He said there were two reasons why he initially decided not to announce Goldsmith’s arrest.
“The first was that given the high standards we set for government service and the serious circumstances surrounding his arrest, Mr. Goldsmith could no longer continue work at City Hall,” Bloomberg said. “The second was that I did not believe it was right for our administration to put out a story about an incident that had the potential to being even more suffering to the Goldsmith family.”
Public Advocate Bill De Blasio pointed out that under current law, when city officials are arrested, it is reported to the Department of Investigation, but not when the arrest occurs in another jurisdiction.
He’s introducing a bill to change that and is demanding mayoral support.
“He had the opportunity to tell people something really horrible that happened, one of the most important officials in the city arrested, in jail, the mayor decides not to tell us, that’s unacceptable,” De Blasio said.
Stringer also said the City Council should hold hearings to “get a full accounting of the facts.”
Bloomberg said after the fight, he made no contact with any officials in Washington or the police, and ordered his office to do the same, to avoid any allegations he tried to influence the investigation.
Do you agree with Mayor Bloomberg’s decision? Please leave a comment below…
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