Mayor Bill de Blasio is opposing a
bill requiring officials correct the record if they give inaccurate
statements in sworn testimony — and is allegedly threatening to prevent
his commissioners from testifying before lawmakers if the bill passes.
The administration’s reluctance to support the legislation comes just a week after The Post revealed that de Blasio officials mislead the City Council about the ouster of a whistleblower.
Mayoral spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein called the bill Tuesday “unnecessarily duplicative.”
“It’s our policy to correct the record with the City Council if someone misspeaks at a hearing,” Goldstein said.
Councilman Ritchie Torres blasted the administration’s response as “Trumpian.”
“There’s no rational justification for obstructing legislation that
would require public officials to tell the truth unless you have
something to hide,” he said.
The bill, which Torres introduced in 2018 and had a hearing last
March, would amend the City Charter by requiring agency heads who give a
“materially inaccurate statement” in sworn testimony or an official
report to correct the record.
“There is a clear obligation not to make knowingly false statements,”
Torres told The Post. “But there’s no obligation to subsequently
correct false statements that might have been made unknowingly. The bill
is to close that gaping loophole.”
He claims members of the city Law Department essentially put the
proposal on ice by threatening, “If you pass the bill then we will no
longer allow commissioners to testify before the City Council.”
Torres called “threatening obstruction of City Council oversight a Trumpian assault on the separation of powers.”