(NEW YORK CITY) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg likes the proposed office of Inspector General about as much as he wants a twenty ounce soda and a pack of Camels.
On Wednesday, one of his biggest allies spoke in support of the proposed bill that would make New York City similar to other major cities in the nation, “I think it is an important additional monitoring device for the police department,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
The bill is attracting much attention in the midst of the stop-and-frisk federal trial as well as the mayor’s race.
During Wednesday’s news conference, speaker Quinn held up an image along with literature from the FBI’s website stating that Mayor Bloomberg was wrong. In fact, she even went as far as to correct him by saying that the FBI overview is indeed comprehensive and a fit for the city, “We think that this is a structure that would be appropriate for us to have and I look forward to having a hearing on the amended version of the bill and moving forward with it to passage.”
But what if City Hall has an office that is already established to conduct investigations? The city code states that Department of Investigations commissioner can be ordered to conduct an investigation at the suggestion of the Mayor or the City Council.
To which Speaker Quinn said, “This monitoring Inspector General function will be in the Department of Investigations. Many agencies have similar types of set-ups within the DOI, the police do not. We’re rectifying that omission through this legislation.”
For police however, that may be another way of saying that ‘big brother’ will have a constant eye focused on the department.
Mayor Bloomberg, who plans to veto the legislation, blasted his opponents before Quinn’s afternoon appearance, saying, “That’s not an Inspector General; that’s a policy supervisor, and I don’t think any rational person would say we need two competing police commissioners.”
So has Speaker Quinn drawn a political line in the sand by going against the man she has stood beside for so long?
“It’s irrelevant. The mayor is going to have whatever position he’s going to have and I’m going to have whatever position I’m going to have. I’ve been saying for months that I thought that more legal infrastructure was needed around stop question and frisk,” said Quinn.
Pat Lynch President of the PBA has a simple description to the reaction within precincts around the city to the proposed office, “It’s demoralizing New York City police officers.”