"I wish everybody who knows me would stop talking to the press about the possibility of me being a candidate for mayor," MTA CEO Joe Lhota told the Daily News last night. "The amount of talk is inappropriate and needs to stop," he went on to say. And he isn't just being coy—there are, as Second Avenue Sagas points out, real legal reasons why Lhota wants everyone to STFU until he actually makes a decision to run or not.
The "Lhota for mayor" meme, pushed at first by the Post and other GOP mainstays (including the mayor of 9/11 Town himself), has been going strong since the MTA bounced quickly back from Hurricane Sandy (though it seems somebody has been thinking about it since at least September). And lately it has been given credence by the fact that Lhota himself has said he'll make a decision to run or not by Christmas. But for legal reasons that is about all he can say.
As SAS notes, "Joe Lhota is essentially barred by law from talking about running for mayor. Section 3-C of the Public Officers Law—a new section added by the Public Employee Ethics Reform Act of 2007—prohibits Lhota, as the head of a state agency, from running for office, and the restrictions are even broader." They specifically point to the line that in the law barring public officers from "Taking any other action to actively promote oneself as a candidate for elective office." Which pretty much explains the MTA CEO's relative silence on the matter, no?