NYC’s top financial watchdog SUES Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office for refusing to cough up documents on the city’s response to pandemic, including its $4.95billion COVID-related spending
- Comptroller Scott Stringer filed a lawsuit against the mayor’s office Wednesday
- The NYC watchdog accused the city of failing to comply with his investigation into its preparation and response to the pandemic
- He accused officials of ‘stalling’ and ‘delaying’ his office’s probe after refusing to respond to multiple requests for documents since May
Comptroller Scott Stringer filed a lawsuit at the New York Supreme Court on Wednesday, six months after launching an investigation into the city’s preparation and response to the outbreak in March.
Stringer, who recently announced he is running for mayor, has accused the city of failing to comply with the probe, claiming it has ‘continually delayed’ handing over documents since his initial request in May.
Comptroller Scott Stringer, who is running to replace Bill De Blasio as NYC mayor, filed a lawsuit against the city on Wednesday, accusing officials of failing to comply with his investigation into their response to the pandemic
At the time, Stringer said New Yorkers deserved ‘an objective assessment’ on the city’s handling of the health crisis and was determined to ‘examine what we knew, when we knew it, and what we did about it.’
The lawsuit states the city had ‘incurred or committed to $4.95billion of COVID-related spending’ for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years.
Stringer submitted an official request for information on May 12, followed by a subpoena in June demanding reports from November 1, 2019 to March 22, 2020 – when the city’s stay-at-home order went into effect.
Since then, the lawsuit claims, ‘only a small fraction’ of those documents have been produced, ‘impeding and frustrating the Comptroller’s ability’ to complete the probe.
‘The city has stalled, delayed and stymied our work,’ Stringer said during a news conference announcing the legal action on Wednesday.
‘I get what they’re doing. That’s why we’re in court. They’re slow-walking this. They don’t want us to do our due diligence. I really don’t know what they’re hiding, but I’ve had enough.’
The lawsuit states the subpoena had requested documents from City Hall, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Emergency Management, FDNY, and NYC Health + Hospitals.
All five agencies were required to submit the information on ‘a rolling basis’ by July 31.
Only ‘124 documents of limited relevance from NYCEM’ were submitted by the Law Department, which is representing the city, the day before the deadline, the complaint states.
To date, Stringer claims his office only received another 30,000 pages of records earlier this month, but only pertaining to the FDNY and NYC Emergency Management.
The lawsuit comes after a recent report showed how the mayor’s office allegedly ‘mishandled’ $1.4billion in medical supplies during the early weeks of the pandemic.
Local news site The City last week reported The Department of Citywide Administrative Services had ‘lost track’ of 100 ventilators and let ‘millions of dollars’ worth of equipment sit in a storehouse.
The DCAS later responded to the report ‘categorically’ rejecting the statements.