City Councilman Bob Holden has filed an ethics complaint against Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz over an expletive-laden tirade she allegedly phoned into his office after a City Council hearing two weeks ago.
The battle royale between the two Queens pols began during a Council committee hearing focused on health care in which Cruz criticized private hospitals by saying they “allegedly” save lives.
“These corporations that we call hospitals have chosen to make money out of health care, have chosen to make money out of allegedly saving lives,” Cruz said at the time. “And yes, they’re saving the lives, but I say ‘allegedly’ because when you get a $200,000 bill that you have to pay, or when you have to choose between a world-renowned doctor at one hospital versus a decent doctor at another one, you’re playing with your health care. You’re playing with your life.”
Holden and David Rich, an executive director at the Greater New York Hospital Association, both pushed back on Cruz’s remarks during the hearing, which was held over Zoom, but the difference of opinion then escalated on social media and during a phone call Cruz made to Holden’s office after the hearing.
According to Holden’s chief of staff, Daniel Kurzyna, the assemblywoman called to chew his boss out over a Facebook post he made about the hearing, but since Holden wasn’t available, Kurzyna fielded the call.
“He better take it [the Facebook post] down in five minutes, or it’s a f---ing war,” Cruz said, according to a memo from Kurzyna obtained by the Daily News. “If he wants f---ing war, I’ll give him war.”
Immediately after the call, Kurzyna said he drafted the memo to Holden while the exchange was still fresh in his head.
In it, he wrote that he “attempted to interject” to tell her that “her tone and use of expletives was unnecessary,” but that she told him to “be quiet; it’s my time to speak.”
“She then continued on the tirade, saying that she would put you ‘on blast’ and that she ‘can make it about race… about it being a woman,’” he continued. “The assembly member insinuated she would use her race and gender as a way to blackmail you and pressure you to take down the social media post.”