From the Daily News:
Without so much as a cursory interview, Bloomberg signed off on giving the job to a mope who had worked for the city's child protective agency, who had left that job to become a consultant to the payroll project, who set his sights on running the whole shebang - and who then hired a pal, another child protective agency mope, as a quality control consultant.
Soon enough, that very good $60 million idea was an $800 million nightmare, mope No. 2 had awarded up to $80 million in contracts to associates, and, according to prosecutors, had reaped $25 million in kickbacks.
One person got suspicious - and it wasn't the mayor or controller. Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez began highlighting the scope of the boondoggle as well as taking note of what seemed enormous consulting fees.
Bloomberg was, ahem, not pleased. But his irritation was misplaced. The target was Gonzalez, when it should have been mope No. 1, Joel Bondy, who held onto his job until after the Manhattan U.S. attorney and Department of Investigation blew the scandal wide open.
Said Bloomberg: "The issue is that here we had somebody that we trusted, or one of our contractors trusted and that trust was misplaced."
Uh, uh. The issue was that Bloomberg blew it, big time.
Mayor: Alleged fraud slipped through cracks New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says payroll consultants accused of stealing $80 million from the city were allegedly able to do so because they simply slipped through the cracks.
Mr. Bloomberg said Friday on his weekly radio show that the alleged fraud should have been detected earlier. But he said the city can't investigate everything at all times.
He said this project involved many layers of contracts, which can be difficult to police.
He declared the city is still relatively free of corruption and crime.
From the NY Post:
Prosecutors have charged four consultants with ripping off $80 million from a program to develop an electronic-timesheet system for municipal employees.
Yet still on the loose is the guy responsible for a possible loss on the project of nearly 10 times that sum.
This would be Mayor Mike.
After all, work on CityTime -- an automated time-tracking system for city employees, started just before Mike took office -- was supposed to cost $63 million. Its current price tag?
A staggering $722 mil lion.
And the project still isn't done.
Where's Michael Bloomberg been?
Hizzoner prides himself on his managerial prowess. And he recently said, with characteristic, um, modesty, that he should be in the running for best New York City mayor ever.
But just as Ed Koch had to live for years with the Parking Violations Bureau scandal of the late '80s, Bloomberg is going to be wearing this albatross for a very long time indeed.
Let's face it: Being mayor of New York requires laser focus; Gotham, remember, spends some $65 billion a year.
Yet Mike remains fixated on pedestrian plazas, bike lanes and "not running for president." Plus, of course, his "bipartisanism" bushwa.
All at New York's expense, it seems.
Fact is, the city needs him right here.
Doing his job.
When $722 million goes up in smoke and nobody notices, there has been a fundamental breakdown.
Mike needs to fix it.
Hey, Mike, don't despair. Despite this massive failure, in a couple of decades your political pals will have forgotten all about it and may even name the Brooklyn Bridge after you.
BTW, weren't these the same papers that were lauding the mayor for his managerial skills and endorsed him because he was the only person in the world who could govern the city in tough economic times? What a difference a year makes!