Stringer’s Rivington House Probe is a Slap on the Wrist for de Blasio
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City Controller Scott Stringer’s office yesterday released findings from its probe of the Rivington House debacle. In short, the findings fall short of full rebuke, essentially allowing the administration to get off with naught but a slap on the wrist.
The report wasn’t quite as scathing as the Department of Investigation results of same (and potential cover-up). It concluded that, despite the involvement of forty “administration figures” – including three deputy mayors and three agency heads – Mayor de Blasio wasn’t informed of the $16.1 million deed lifting that led to a $116 million flip job into luxury condos.
“Our investigation found at no point did Department of City Administrative Services receive clear direction from City Hall that they wanted this property to remain a nursing home and that the deed restriction should not be lifted,” Stringer said yesterday at a press conference. “Despite the involvement of 40 administration figures including the leading top level deputy mayors, we found no evidence of any discussions between them and the mayor, that we could find.”
Some other choice quotes:
“Rivington House was allowed to slip away not because of poor city processes, but because of poor execution. This could have been prevented easily under the existing deed restriction protocols…City Hall and DCAS missed crucial opportunities.”
“What went down here was a failure of management at multiple levels of government. The job of elected officials is to make sure that the bad actors don’t game the system, and unfortunately there was a failure of that.”
“Once they knew for sure that the deed restriction had been lifted, they had one more Hail Mary opportunity to get in the game…They just sat on this until it was absolutely too late, until it was signed sealed and delivered, and they didn’t go to the mayor in those 72 days.”