The four city officials who are assigned a security detail no longer have to pay the expenses on their taxpayer-funded official cars and drivers when they use them for personal excursions, according to a ruling by the Conflicts of Interest Board. The lucky protected ones are Mayor Bloomberg, Comptroller William Thompson, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
In 2006, former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi resigned after admitting he assigned a government employee to chauffeur his sick wife. Soon after, Bloomberg and Quinn asked the conflicts board to set clear guidelines about the personal use of official vehicles; the Post says the rules were so vague that officials have been setting their own policies.
Seeking to avoid Hevesi’s fate, Thompson, Quinn and Gotbaum have been paying thousands of dollars to the city to cover non-official vehicular business, like political campaign business and personal trips. The ever-conscionable mayor, on the other hand, just pays the entire operating expenses for the S.U.V. provided by the city.