From the NY Times:
It turns out that the Bloomberg-Morgenthau bank-account feud is not the only pointless, losing quarrel that the mayor has picked recently with law enforcement.
Some weeks back, the state attorney general’s office sent the city a request for records of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, one of these invisible public agencies wearing the costume gowns of a nonprofit operation.
The attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, was looking into a report that the city, through the Economic Development Corporation, was the source of funds for lobbyists who helped persuade the City Council to condemn land in Willets Point, Queens. It is illegal for a not-for-profit corporation to use city money for lobbying.
Instead of complying with the records request, the city’s chief lawyer, Michael A. Cardozo, demanded a meeting with the attorney general’s office. Mr. Cuomo said that his investigators wanted to review the records before meeting with city officials. Mr. Cardozo balked. Mr. Cuomo said that if necessary, he would issue a subpoena.
In one of the many exchanges between the city Law Department and the Attorney General’s office, a Bloomberg administration official said that a subpoena from the state would be seen as a hostile act, and would be remembered next year, when Mr. Cuomo is expected to run for governor.
Asked about this on Tuesday, an assistant to Mr. Cardozo said that the city is now cooperating with the investigation, and tacitly acknowledged a skirmish with the attorney general.
From the Village Voice:
It's hard to imagine Nixon's legendary hit men, Ehrlichman and Haldeman, forging a better response. And Nixon didn't have $17 billion in the bank. He had to beg the Teamsters for his slush fund dough.
What's interesting about this show down was that it was the city's own top law man, Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo, handling the negotiations.
The issue at hand concerns the EDC's funding of a non-profit group it had helped form to lobby the City Council on its Willett's Point plan. Such lobbying would be illegal for a nonprofit, not to mention being a bizarre and secretive way for a mayor to try and influence the council. It's the kind of stunt- yes! - Richard Nixon might've pulled.