Mayor Bloomberg is allegedly dangling a leadership position at the Board of Elections over a city councilmember in order to kill the Community Safety Act once and for all. Celeste Katz reports that the Bloomberg administration is "supporting" Brooklyn councilmember Erik Dilan's appointment as the executive director for the Board of Elections, a position that earns an annual salary of $170,000.
Dilan, a third-term Democrat whose district covers some of the most common areas in the city to get stopped and frisked by the NYPD (East New York, Brownsville), voted in favor for the Community Safety Act last month. The portion of the bill creating an Inspector General for the NYPD passed with a wide margin—its eventual passage is seemingly not in doubt.
However, Intro 1080, which widens the scope of anti-profiling laws and gives New Yorkers a meaningful avenue to challenge discriminatory police practices in court, passed with 34 votes, the exact number needed to override Mayor Bloomberg's veto, which is why his administration has been fervently working to lower that number any way they can.
A representative from Dilan's office declined to comment on whether Dilan was considering the BOE position. The mayor's press secretary, Marc LaVorgna, denied that the Bloomberg administration was "supporting" Dilan for the position, which must be appointed by six of ten BOE members.
"As the Mayor has said many times, the board has long been a disaster and they should conduct a nationwide search to get the best person to clean up the operation," LaVorgna said in an email.
Although legal challenges would surely follow, the law states that "two-thirds" of the city council is needed to override the mayor's veto, and two-thirds of 50 is not quite 33. If Dilan or another councilmember resigned, Intro 1080 would likely die.
"We remain confident that we will overturn the mayor’s veto, possibly even with more votes than we had at the June stated meeting," Alex Moore, a spokesman for Community Safety Act co-sponsor Brad Lander, said in an email. "City Council members take their responsibility as a check on the executive branch seriously."
Meanwhile, the Sergeants Benevolent Union believes it can boil down the issue of racial profiling and protection against abuses of power into a glib statement printed on the side of a fifteen-cent ink pen.