GOP Mayor & Comptroller Candidates Hold News Conference at Scandal Plagued Water’s Edge Restaurant in L.I.C.
“A symbol of all that is wrong in Bill de Blasio’s New York”
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the presumptive Republican candidate in the race for Mayor, held a Thursday morning news conference in front of the Water’s Edge Restaurant in Long Island City. The restaurant has been at the center of scandal and investigations into the pay-to-play approach to government that is a hallmark of the de Blasio administration. Malliotakis called the shuttered restaurant “a symbol of all that is wrong with the de Blasio administration” and called for Mayor de Blasio to prepared to explain to the voters why scandal after scandal in the de Blasio administration can be traced back to a pay-to-play mentality in City Hall.
Standing at the podium next to the Assemblywoman was Michel Faulkner, the Republican nominee for New York City Comptroller. Faulkner called for increased scrutiny and regular monitoring of all city leases so as to “prevent a loss of revenue to the city and the compromising of city officials whether they are elected or appointed.”
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “The Water’s Edge Restaurant stands behind us vacant and forlorn. In recent years it’s been the focus of investigations by both local and federal authorities into a pay-to-play version of government that stretches from Nassau County to the front doors of City Hall. It has cost the city and its taxpayers a small fortune in legal fees and lost revenue and it’s one of the many reasons Bill de Blasio should lose his job.
“I’m standing here today with Michel Faulkner, the Republican nominee for NYC Comptroller because we are both committed to ending the transactional form of politics that has become commonplace in Bill de Blasio’s New York. The issues concerning this restaurant, its operator Harendra Singh, his close relationship with Bill de Blasio and his arrest on corruption charges have all been written about before.
‘”What I’d ask the media and the public to focus on today is the cost that is being passed onto the taxpayers, including: various investigations, the legal fees being paid by the city for the Mayor and his aides and the lost revenues. All due to a pay-to-play mentality in City Hall and the approximately $33,000 in campaign donations from Harendra Singh, his family and associates.
“In June, a State Supreme Court judge here in Queens slapped Harendra Singh with judgments totaling $6.5 million; $3.1 million in back rent and $3.4 million in costs related to the renovation of the pier. That doesn’t even include the cost OF legal fees associated with securing the judgments, the cost of various city investigations or the portion of the taxpayer funded legal defense for Mayor de Blasio and his aides that are associated with the Water’s Edge case. Or, for that matter, legal fees and potential settlement cost related to a wrongful dismissal lawsuit expected to be filed on behalf of former deputy Commissioner Ricardo Morales of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, who led the city’s negations with Singh and was fired from his job in February.
“The Water’s Edge case has cost the City of New York millions of dollars and is a perfect example of the ethically challenged transactional politics that is all too common in the de Blasio administration. As we enter the final 3 months of the race for mayor, Bill de Blasio better be prepared to explain to the voters why scandal after scandal in the de Blasio administration can be traced back to a pay-to-play mentality in City Hall.”
Comptroller candidate Michel Faulkner said, “In recent days, New Yorkers have witnessed the warm and cozy relationship between the Office of Comptroller Scott Stringer and the de Blasio administration. First, Comptroller Stringer endorsed Mayor de Blasio, then on Tuesday, when Assemblywoman Malliotakis called for an investigation into contract practices at the Department of Education, Stringer spokesman Tyrone Stevens jump into the fray with the puzzling statement ‘We do this work for our kids — and it shouldn’t be cheapened and exploited by adults.’ To Mr. Steven’s I reply, the Comptroller’s Office should be working for the taxpayers and not exploiting their children by allowing their education dollars to be wasted.
“I’m sure Comptroller Stringer and his staff will find an equally curious way to attack the Assemblywoman and what was said at this news conference. The facts in both matters remain clear; Mayor de Blasio doesn’t know how to manage the city, but, he sure knows how to waste the taxpayer’s money. As Comptroller, I will work for increased scrutiny and regular monitoring of all city leases so as to prevent a loss of revenue to the city and the compromising of city officials whether they are elected or appointed, Democrat or Republican. The City Comptroller’s Office should deal in the hard, cold facts related to the city’s bottom line; always championing the fiduciary responsibility it owes to the taxpayers and citizens of our city. It should not be Mayor de Blasio’s stand-in press secretary, offering sugary and cynical quotes in response to a valid criticism of the lack of the most basic of financial safeguards at the Department of Education.