His Honor DeBlasio has managed to preside over quite an ethical circus in the Big Apple. There is the lead paint problem in public housing, allowed to go unaddressed because of inspection lapses and serious records issues. Then there was the waiver of deed restrictions on a Lower East Side parcel that allowed a nursing home to be cast aside for luxury condominiums. Let’s not forget the former corrections commissioner who was driving his city car to his Maine vacation home and was forced to reimburse the city and pay an $18,500 fine for violating city regulations on improper use of a city vehicle. The city fire chief is on leave for “inappropriate behavior.” And there are those e-mails from a disgraced donor to Mr. DeBlasio that look to have the potential for a quid and a quo here and there.
Now, for the coup de grace to eliminate these ethical lapses. His Honor has fired the man who issued most of the reports in these matters. Mark G. Peters, the city watchdog, who is to be independent of politics, was given the bum’s rush because he had abused his power and been “cavalier with the facts.” Mr. Peters issued a parting e-mail to his staff explaining that the termination was “proof of the excellent work you do.”
Mayor DeBlasio had a deadly combination of poor management skills (witness the city’s inability to prepare for snow) and a “cavalier” attitude about ethics.