Friday, 4pm, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio appears on Meet the Press. A week earlier, the New York Times published a deeply flawed report claiming that “city financial regulators warned city officials including Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014 that they were creating the possibility for conflicts of interest and could be subject to criminal prosecution.”
Published just days before de Blasio appeared on Meet the Press, the Times article is causing some to speculate whether he has made “a serious misstep,” “possibly gives evidence of self-dealing,” and “raises serious questions about his financial ethics.”
The article cites city ethics officials and the fact that de Blasio “has dodged more than three dozen questions from reporters” about the complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission that prompted them.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray. (Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
The public should know exactly why and when the city’s ethics watchdog warned city officials, and de Blasio should have shared that information with Meet the Press viewers so they would know what’s at stake and the ways in which he’s distancing himself from his administration.
De Blasio avoided two earlier chances to answer questions about this matter when he was interviewed by a reporter for the Daily News, and refused to answer several other questions from various news outlets.
On Meet the Press, when interviewer Chuck Todd asked de Blasio, “I mean, do you have enough resources for policing and doing ethics properly?”, de Blasio responded: “Yes. Absolutely. … In fact, I think our ethics watchdog, the Conflicts of Interest Board, is doing a good job.”
After the meeting, Todd said to Daily News reporter Megan Specia: “In reading the audit, there is a lot of bad stuff that goes on here, a lot of gray areas. That you don’t clarify. It seems like when they read something, you are totally oblivious to it. Is that true?”
“There’s a difference between interpretation and the facts,” de Blasio responded. “The fact of the matter is there are gray areas. I think the ethics board is doing a pretty good job.”
De Blasio wants us to believe that he and his administration have “done a pretty good job” of doing a “pretty good job” of following the law, but not even the public seems to believe that there have been any “bad things” done by his administration.
In light of de Blasio’s series of deflections and misleading statements about this matter, Mayor de Blasio should be ashamed of himself and should never again be trusted to lead New York City.
Watch Chuck Todd’s interview with Mayor de Blasio below.