Mayor de Blasio claimed Friday that his memory is fuzzy when it comes to the call he got from shady donor Jona Rechnitz urging him to appoint a retired NYPD official as head of the city’s Office of Emergency Management.
Asked whether he took the phone call from the Brooklyn developer at the center of the NYPD’s corruption scandal, Hizzoner praised OEM Commissioner Joe Esposito and insisted he couldn’t remember the conversation.
Earlier Friday, he went on a rant about a Post report that said he had given Esposito the $220,000-a-year job after Rechnitz’s call.
“How about we ask the question the right way? How did Joe Esposito become commissioner?” he told WNYC host Brian Lehrer.
“Not because some guy who I have no respect for his opinion offered his opinion. I don’t even remember him doing that. Because [Esposito] was a highly qualified person, and he’s done a fantastic job. Why is this mysterious?”
He called the report “ludicrous.”
The Post revealed Wednesday that Rechnitz, a cooperating witness in the NYPD scandal, made a call on his cellphone from the office of then-Chief of Department Philip Banks to de Blasio asking that Banks’ predecessor, Esposito, get the gig to run OEM.
Rechnitz later bragged to his associates that “I’ve got the mayor on lockdown,” sources said.
He donated $50,000 to de Blasio’s now-shuttered Campaign for One New York charity and gave him $9,900 for his 2013 mayoral bid.