NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The fight over whether the NYPD needs an inspector general has apparently led to the demise of the love affair between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported, Friday’s clash of the two political titans came as the mayor is furiously trying to derail a council bill to have an inspector general monitor one the of the Police Department’s signature crime fighting tools: stop and frisk.
“The claims that appropriate monitoring of the NYPD will compromise public safety is empty rhetoric supported by no evidence,” Quinn said Friday.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen people who want to be the executive try to denude the office before they get it,” Bloomberg said.
“This bill if it becomes law would not, as Mayor Bloomberg said this morning, denude the mayor’s authority because the mayor’s own commissioner would be responsible for the monitoring,” Quinn said.
“It’s total politics and total pandering to a handful of people,” Bloomberg said.
The back and forth came as Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn, whose agency would have to provide the inspector general, wrote a letter to Quinn “questioning the draft legislation as unworkable for DOI, and its implementation at the NYPD as potentially problematic,” DOI Director of Communications Diane Struzzi later clarfied.
“The bill in essence is not proposing an IG so much as it creates a mechanism to co-manage, even override, the police commissioner,” Hearn wrote.
Hearn also suggested that the city await the outcome of a federal trial on stop and frisk to see if the judge appoints a federal monitor.
“The fact that people in the Bloomberg administration are suggesting that we wait until a federal monitor is appointed is a curious statement about whether reform is needed,” Quinn said.
This could turn out to be a breakout moment for Speaker Quinn. Pundits say that putting a little distance between herself and Mayor Bloomberg could help her in the Democratic primary.
Quinn said that according to studies, crime dropped 33 percent in Los Angeles after an inspector general was appointed there. The NYPD said it already has plenty of oversight, including the independent Civilian Complaint Review Board.
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