From the Daily News:
The patronage slugs at the city Board of Elections have long been incorrigibly incompetent — and now they’re proving anything but incompetently incorrigible.
With the skill of a crime family consigliere, board general counsel Steven Richman has set out to sabotage a Department of Investigation probe of the agency’s numerous failings by engineering a coverup in plain sight.
Mayor Bloomberg has allocated $800,000 so that DOI can get to the bottom of how and why the board mishandles elections while wasting huge money to hire politically connected staff members and their brothers-in-law.
The board is an independent operation, ruled by a panel divided equally between representatives of Democratic and Republican Party bosses. The mayor funds the budget but has no say over how business is done, except he has authority to dispatch DOI to look at the innards.
Backed with that power, on July 8, DOI Deputy General Counsel Benet Kearney and Inspector General Michelle Offsey Raimondi met with Richman and a deputy to discuss access to the records and information.
Richman told them, among other things, that all requests for interviews and paperwork would have to be in writing and would be submitted to the ten-member board for public discussion, regardless of whether DOI needed to keep questions secret for investigative purposes.
Richman also said no employees would be available for interviews during working hours until after the panel certifies the results of the November mayoral election because, you see, everyone will be just too busy until then.
As for when certification might take place, consider: The board only got around to certifying the outcome of last year’s presidential election on July 2, a full eight months after the fact.
Richman is open about his intention to resist DOI until after Bloomberg is gone, while hoping for greater tolerance from the next mayor.