Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg defiantly stood by his decision not to disclose that Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith resigned in early August because Goldsmith had been arrested for domestic violence a few days earlier in D.C. Bloomberg said, “I make no apologies for either the fact that Mr. Goldsmith has left city service, or for treating the Goldsmith family with basic decency as he left." Then Goldsmith spoke out later in the afternoon, releasing a statement to the NY Times, "As a former employee, I , not the mayor, should have more fully disclosed the reasons for my resignation. I thought the immediacy of my resignation mooted the need for further explanation. I was wrong. The lack of a fuller disclosure I now regret as I regret loss of my public service career and the intrusion my children have experienced... I regret the criticism of the mayor for his support of my family."
Goldsmith's wife called the police to their Georgetown townhouse and the former Indianapolis mayor was arrested on July 30 and held in jail for 36 hours. Margaret Goldsmith, who did not press charges, characterized the arrest as a "mistake" and said he was never violent toward her (the police report says that she was thrown against a kitchen counter). Goldsmith later told Bloomberg about the arrest and was allowed to resign, with the mayor's office saying he was pursuing "private-sector opportunities in infrastructure finance." But Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, one of the mayor's fiercest critics, questioned the apparent cover-up, and pointed out in a letter to Bloomberg:
Under current law, when City officials are arrested in New York City, their arrest is reported to the Department of Investigation (DOI). Stephen Goldsmith’s arrest in Washington, DC, reveals an obvious hole in this policy. I am introducing legislation requiring that the arrests of City officials in jurisdictions outside New York City be immediately reported to the NYPD and the DOI, so that incidents can be properly reviewed and investigated. I urge you to support this measure.
Public servants are rightly held to high standards—and we must live up to them. The people of New York City deserve your honesty and your leadership on this issue.
The NY Times' Michael Powell writes, "Now 10 years into his mayoralty, Michael R. Bloomberg still tends to view the office of the mayor as akin to a hallway at Bloomberg L.P. Rules apply as the boss prefers. He wants a deputy mayor to run his foundation, which in turn ladles out dough to constituents’ nonprofits? Done. With precious little input, he wants to pick a Park Avenue friend as schools chancellor? Done. You want to take undisclosed vacations to undisclosed mansions on undisclosed islands? That too," adding, "More to the point, Mr. Goldsmith had spent a career in public service, notably as mayor of Indianapolis. He understood better than most that a deputy mayor harbors no expectations of privacy on matters such as arrests."
In his most recent statement, Goldsmith also said, "I have spent my entire career in public service. After the event with my wife I thought I had two options. If I stayed I would need to disclose the events of that tragic night and neither the mayor nor I thought staying was possible despite the absence of any charges and I did not want to be a distraction to the important work of City Hall. I thought first and foremost I owed it to the Mayor and New Yorkers to resign and accept responsibility for my actions. Having resigned I believed I both carried out my public trust and protected my family. Embarrassing my children for an event that was never charged and was no longer relevant to my public work seemed to me grossly unfair to them as well as to my wife and our mothers."