City Comptroller Scott Stringer is suing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration for failing to hand over records related to the mayor’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, accuses City Hall of failing to comply with a subpoena Stringer issued in June as part of the comptroller’s probe.
“The City’s refusal to timely and fully comply with the Subpoena is impeding and frustrating the Comptroller’s ability to complete the Investigation,” the suit reads.
In May, Stringer — who is running to replace the term-limited de Blasio in 2021 — launched the investigation into the city’s handling of the pandemic, saying he wanted to know “what we knew, when we knew it and what we did about it.”
“My office is examining city government’s response because New Yorkers deserve an objective assessment of what we did right and what we can do better going forward,” Stringer said at the time.
A recent report from his office estimated that the city has “incurred or committed to $4.95 billion of COVID related spending in [fiscal year] 2020 and [fiscal year] 2021,” the court papers say.
The comptroller — whose office is empowered to investigate all matters relating to or affecting the city’s finances — now wants a judge to force the city to turn over the relevant records by New Year’s Eve.
The subpoena requested data from five city agencies — the mayor’s office, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Emergency Management, fire department and Health + Hospitals — on a rolling basis and set a July 31 deadline for the information.
But the city Law Department only made a “small production” of 124 documents “of limited relevance” on July 30, the lawsuit alleges.
Stringer says the hold up is interfering with his investigation, including witness interviews that will likely have to be followed up on once the documents are turned over, the suit says.
The Law Department deferred questions to City Hall, which didn’t immediately comment.
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