The Bloomberg administration has a longstanding policy of not disclosing the mayor's whereabouts when he has no public events scheduled, but many suspected the billionaire was in Bermuda this weekend when he failed to surface after a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx killed four people and injured more than 60 others. Now a Wall Street Journal source confirms what we all presumed: Bloomberg was spending the weekend with Bermuda, and kept playing golf after being informed of the tragedy. From the Journal:
Mr. Bloomberg, who steps down on Dec. 31 after 12 years at City Hall, was playing golf Sunday at Bermuda’s majestic Mid Ocean golf club, a person who spotted the mayor said. The Metro-North Railroad train derailment — killing four people and injuring more than 60 others — occurred at roughly 7:20 a.m. New York time.
Mr. Bloomberg was golfing in the early morning and did not leave the course until roughly 1 p.m, the person said. Bermuda is one hour ahead of New York time.
When Bloomberg finally appeared in NYC at St. Barnabas Hospital last night, it was almost 8 p.m. Asked about his conspicuous absence, Bloomberg in turn asked reporters, "What can I do? I’m not a professional firefighter or police officer. Nothing I can do. All I can do is make sure that the right people from New York City, our police commissioner, our fire commissioner and emergency management commissioner are there." In other words, watch this drive!
Mayor Bloomberg's spokesman Marc LaVorgna told the Post yesterday that since the derailment involved a Metro-North train, it was a state issue. “It’s an MTA scene so it was appropriate for the governor to be the lead official."
Update 1:45 p.m.: At a press conference today, mayor-elect Bill de Blasio said that if he was mayor, he would have visited crash site. And furthermore:
"I think it's important to alert the public & the media broadly about my whereabouts," BdB says re MRB's policy of not saying where he is
— Kate Taylor (@katetaylornyt) December 2, 2013