Editorial: Resign already, Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, you haven’t even started yet
I feel as if I have been reading about the resignation of the City Council’s two most powerful members since the resignation of Mayor Bill de Blasio on Feb. 6, but there’s been no real follow-up on the story. In truth, no story has been made. I’m hoping that that changes now that the Mayor’s press conference has been issued, with de Blasio announcing he has asked for an investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of Investigation.
De Blasio, as well as the Mayor’s press secretary Jan Schakowsky, have tried to downplay the importance of an investigation. While de Blasio said an investigation would not be necessary because the information is under audit in the Office of the Public Advocate (an entity independent of the City Council), Mayor Schakowsky said such a probe “is not necessary, is not necessary and would be very difficult because it has already been done.”
The Inspector General can look at the conduct of the Council members themselves, can look at the conduct of Councilmembers “or staff that they employ,” and can look at “anything else the Inspector General deems appropriate,” in addition to “anything else the Inspector General believes is appropriate.”
The Mayor and Schakowsky claim de Blasio made those comments because the two of them have seen similar allegations of corruption. Yet, there was no mention of the Inspector General’s finding of a city-wide corruption ring. There was no mention of a report by ABC News in 2012 that detailed at least 13 instances of public corruption in the City Hall since 1975, including a “swap” in the early 1990s of a city worker who could not produce a drivers’ license or insurance card. There was no mention of a New York Times story on Feb. 16 in which Mayor de Blasio was quoted as stating that there is a “culture” inside the City Hall of “corruption.”
The Mayor’s report also does not discuss potential corruption by Councilmembers, even though, in their capacity as Councilmembers, they can