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Bloomberg Hits City Comptroller With Lawsuit Over Rejected Homeless Shelter Contracts

Liu Says Decisions Weren't Politically Motivated
Mayor Michael Bloomberg (file/credit: CBS 2)/New York City Comptroller John C. Liu (file/credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg (file/credit: CBS 2)/New York City Comptroller John C. Liu (file/credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has filed a lawsuit against the city comptroller for rejecting two contracts for homeless shelters.

City Comptroller John Liu this month rejected the $67.6 million contracts with Aguila Inc. for shelters in the South Bronx and in Manhattan.

Aguila is run by ex-Bloomberg Homeless Services Commissioner Robert Hess.

“This is yet another contract that says ‘we’re going to spend x amount,’ in this case $67.6 million dollars for this contract, without telling us what’s going to be paid for with this contract,” Liu told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb. “Last year, we issued a very damning audit on the part of this vendor that says that there’s huge mismanagement and waste of money.”

Bloomberg and the Department of Homeless Services filed the lawsuit last week. The suit says the comptroller is required by law to approve the contacts.

Liu says the contracts failed to say how many people would be served by the shelters and has said his office will vigorously defend itself.

Liu, a Democrat who is running for mayor, also criticized Bloomberg’s past homeless policy.

He rejected allegations that his motives were political, saying everything is political to the Bloomberg administration if you don’t agree with them 100 percent of the time.

The city charges that Liu has a pattern of publicly rejecting contracts for technical reasons then later registers them with few changes.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)