Sunday, February 2, 2020
Impeach de Blasio
A newly-disclosed email exchange between two top de Blasio officials suggests the administration misled the City Council about the ouster of a whistleblower who accused the mayor of corruption.
On March 13, 2017 Lisette Camilo, head of the city’s Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services, testified to the council that Ricardo Morales was forced from his job as a deputy commissioner at her agency for reasons that had “nothing to do with Rivington.”
According to the email thread — which was released as part of Morales’ wrongful termination suit against the city — the comment shocked de Blasio employees who were watching Camilo get grilled.
“Did Lisette really say morales firing wasn’t related to rivington?” asked then de Blasio press secretary Eric Phillips in one of the emails.
“Yes. That’s what we were told she had to say for legal reasons,” replied Jon Paul Lupo, de Blasio’s former director of intergovernmental affairs.
Camilo had been referring in her testimony to Rivington House, a Lower East Side nursing home that was sold to a developer in 2015 resulting in a $72 million profit.
The feds probed the transaction because the city lifted deed restrictions, paving the way for the seller and subsequent buyer—both repped by a major de Blasio donor—to cash in on the site.
Morales has said publicly that he cooperated with the probe and gave “truthful testimony” about alleged wrongdoing by the mayor and other city officials.
However, he was fired the same day the feds interviewed de Blasio in 2017 about the deal.