Opinion

It’s time for more oversight, Mayor de Blasio to relinquish emergency executive powers


City Comptroller Scott Stringer has now had to sue to rescind emergency powers that Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to yield, though the COVID crisis is plainly over.

Stringer just wants to do his job of overseeing City Hall spending, as the law orders.

“This mayor does not have a great track record on transparency . . . and good government, and I’ll be damned if we’re going to walk out on Dec. 31 with $7 billion truly unaccounted for,” Stringer said. “We can’t let this man’s hubris outlast the pandemic, or even his mayoralty.”

Amen.

On March 16, 2020, de Blasio put a pause on regular procurement rules to expedite emergency purposes. But the need is clearly past.

Team de Blasio has registered more than $6.9 billion in COVID-related contracts and purchases, all without the proper checks and balances that the office of the comptroller provides — which is, as Stringer notes, just “unacceptable.”

De Blasio spokesman Bill Neidhardt didn’t even pretend to have a good answer, resorting to nasty words about Stringer’s loss in the mayoral race.

De Blasio’s been clear enough that all Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers need to end; he should admit the same’s true for him.


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